Our Top Tips: Play It Smart When You Renovate Your Home

Irwin Weiner ASID - Our regular readers know that Jay and I are renovating our country home's kitchen and the back-entry laundry, powder room, and mudroom areas. We've been thinking a lot about how homeowners need to have their eyes wide open to the realities of renovating, as it's oftentimes an unnatural act and an extreme intrusion upon your family's home life. Here are Design2Share's top tips for renovating your home, should you want to tackle something fresh and updated during the new year.
  • Protect yourself by hiring experienced, reliable, and highly-skilled professionals for any home renovation project. Personal recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors are best (“They did great work on my addition!”). There are many experienced and reliable contractors working in your community—highly skilled professionals who do business the right way.
  • If you're hiring a contractor to do construction, renovation, or repair work on your home, avoid paying cash "under the table" for your job. You’ll likely not get a better deal.
  • You need a warranty from the professionals you hire, meaning some kind of recourse for poor workmanship.

  • You have the added risk of liability if an injury takes place on your property when you hire non-insured workers for your home projects. You’re better off hiring fully insured and bonded individuals and firms.
  • Before you hire anyone, be sure to ask a lot of questions, get a written contract, and ask for proof of Workers' Compensation or equivalent private-liability insurance to cover injury as well as any damage that could occur in your home. This will protect you from being liable for an injury in your home, as well as damage to your home and the workers’ equipment.
  • Information is the key. Know the businesses and individuals with whom you’re dealing, and use the information at your disposal, like reviews of contractors from websites like Angie's List and casaGURU
  • Tacking your big project as a Do It Yourself venture? Knock yourself out! Research the many books and websites that can help you line up all the equipment and project steps. For instance, you can great some great step-by-step advice on building a home addition on Life 123


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