Home improvement is a term that can cover a wide range of activities, from painting and repairing to installing a new kitchen or bathroom. These projects can be done by homeowners themselves or by contractors.
The most popular house improvements typically increase the value of a home while also making it more comfortable and enjoyable for those living in it. However, there are some things that you should be aware of before you begin your renovations.
1. Make a list of everything you want to have done.
A list will help you to avoid surprises and will make it easier for you to negotiate with contractors. It will also help you to know what permits and inspections are needed.
2. Get a contractor that has a license to do the work you need.
A contractor with a license to perform home improvement work has met specific qualifications and is licensed under the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). If you hire an unlicensed contractor, he may not be protected by the Guaranty Fund for any losses he causes you.
3. Always get a written contract for home improvement work.
A written contract should include a detailed description of the project, a timeline for completion, and a payment schedule. The contract should also contain details about any warranties that the contractor provides for materials or workmanship.
4. Ask for references and get estimates from multiple contractors.
A good contractor will be able to give you multiple quotes and can provide you with feedback from previous clients. This can help you to choose the right contractor for your needs and avoid paying too much money or wasting time on a poor quality contractor.
5. Always obtain the proper permits and inspections before beginning a project.
The contractor who you hire should be able to get the appropriate building, electrical and plumbing permits for your renovations. He should also be able to get all the necessary inspections before and after your renovations.
6. Do not go into debt for your home improvement.
Debt is a bad idea, because it carries high interest rates and it can quickly pile up. Getting into debt for home improvement projects will only cause you to have less income and make it harder to pay your bills.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price.
If you are looking for a better deal on your renovations, it is a good idea to speak with several different contractors before you decide to go with one. You can often find a contractor who will do the work you need at a lower cost than you thought possible.
8. Don’t get ripped off by unscrupulous contractors.
If a contractor gives you a low quote, it could be because they are not licensed. This is why you should always get a contract and make sure it has the name, address, and MHIC license number of the contractor preprinted on it.
9. Do not forget to update your insurance policy when you complete a home improvement project.