Tips For Your Next Home Renovation Project
Renovations on a home can bring great beauty and increase value if done properly. Kitchen, bathroom and basement renovations are the most popular renovations done today and can increase the selling price of your home.
Doing renovations can also be very stressful especially if you have children. Your home will be dirty and unsettled for quite some time. This disruption of your everyday routine can cause some anxiety, therefore proper planning is very important.
How to find Good Help
When choosing contractors there are many things to consider. First of all you want to ask the contractor for at least three references and check them – Angie’s List is a good place to check as well. Check their credentials as well. A referral from a friend or relative is always ideal. You should ask the contractor if they have liability insurance in case of damage to your home, as well as worker’s compensation. Ask them how long they have been in business. You want to know what licenses the workers have such as electrical or plumbing licenses and what kind of renovations they specialize in. Will they use their own crew or do they subcontract out? You can look into individual specialists like plumbers, HVAC companies and electricians or look for general home services companies who can handle most of the work needed.
Find out how they handle getting the required permits such as building, plumbing and electrical permits. Discuss deposits required and review a copy of their contract. The written contract should indicate the scope of work, price, payment, deposits, schedule, timetable, cleanup and disposal of materials. Hopefully they are members of local builder’s associations.
It is a good idea to bring in a few estimates for the job. You want to be comfortable with the person you hire. Communication is important. If you find it hard to communicate at point of estimate then it will only get worse as time goes along. They should be willing to advise you and help refine any issues that come up as the project progresses. A good question you could ask a reference is how flexible the contractor was to changes or revisions of plans. In some cases renovators may uncover hidden problems, so have a little extra cash put aside for this unexpected event. The lowest bid is not always the best choice. A cash deal may leave you with no legal recourse if problems creep up later. Choose the contractor that you feel will provide the best overall value and stand behind their work.
Increase Energy Efficiency
When renovating it is a good idea to consider what you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your property. You will save dollars in the long run and make your home more attractive to potential buyers when you eventually sell. Electricity, water and gas savings can help return a part of your investment and make living in the home more comfortable. Improving the home’s energy efficiency can be as simple as installing water saving facets and shower heads, fluorescent light bulbs, low flow or dual flush toilets. If replacing the furnace consider a high efficiency furnace with programmable thermostats. The new energy star appliances can reduce energy loads compared to older models. Addition of energy efficient windows will better protect you against UV rays, cut down noise levels from the street and insulate against air escape.
The government has many programs to help home owners with rebates for renovations that are done with energy efficiency in mind. Check your local government for these programs. The time to make changes is when you are doing the actual renovations. You will be glad you did. Green is in! Do what you can to save the environment.