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Six Things to Check Before You Start Your Next Home Improvement Project

Carefully planned and executed home improvement projects can add real value to your home while making your living space feel fresh. Thorough preparation means fewer unpleasant surprises when spending your precious money and time. Pay attention to the following details to avoid common home improvement pitfalls.


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Budget Realistically

Whether your project is large or small, there will be unexpected expenses. Placing your budget on a spreadsheet and tracking expenses carefully will help you steer clear of surprises. If you are uncertain of some of the costs, consult an expert. Even if you have to pay for the advice, it might be the best money you spend.

Know Where Utilities are Located

Never dig, cut or drill until you know the location of every utility line, pipe and cord. A simple phone call or two to your utility companies can get electric, gas, water, phone, cable and other lines marked. Also, if you are doing the work yourself, play it safe and learn how to switch off each utility before you begin.

Plan for Trash

Home improvement projects typically involve construction debris that regular garbage services will not remove. You may need to rent a construction dumpster, industrial disposal bins, or even contract with a refuse company to pick up the trash. Decide how you will handle garbage prior to creating it.

Ask About Return Policies

You don’t want to be just one baseboard or gallon of paint short at the end of your project, but neither do you need extra inventory when it’s over. Make sure you can return unused, regular stock materials before you buy them.

Expect Delays

Whether you are doing the project yourself or hiring contractors, prepare for inevitable delays. Workers may call in sick, supply shipments may be incorrect, weather can postpone projects. Add some buffer time into your plans. When things go wrong, spend your energy getting the project back on track rather than stressing about lost time.

Get the Proper Approvals

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need permissions or permits for your planned changes. Major projects will need to be approved by city or county officials, and even HOAs typically have rules governing what you may and may not change. Cover these bases before you begin. Undoing an unapproved project can land you back where you started with your money already gone.

Giving your house a makeover is a big undertaking. With the right planning, you can ensure your improvement projects are as safe, efficient, and legal as possible.


Informational Credit to JCL Group Inc



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