Plan your home improvement project from start to finish
Careful planning of your home improvement project from start to finish will enable you to update your home, increase the value of your investment and customize your living space.
Look over your property carefully. What repairs are needed? What improvements would you like to make? Think ahead and determine your future needs. Professional remodeling contractors can help you in planning by outlining options and discussing the improvements you can make within your budget.
Financing your project
There are various financing plans available to homeowners. Among the most popular is the equity line of credit that bases the loan amount on the equity in your home.
The Federal Housing Administration has loans specifically for home improvements. They are available through many banks and lending institutions. The FHA, however, requires the lender approves the contractor. The FHA does not guarantee the contractor’s work.
Some institutions will allow you to borrow against the anticipated equity in your home once your remodeling project is complete.
A professional remodeling contractor is familiar with financing options available and can help. Research various sources of funding to compare individual qualification guidelines, interest rates, terms and tax considerations.
Design and function should be foremost in your mind if you’re thinking of adding a room or converting an existing room.
When planning a larger, more complicated project, give thought to details such as where you want electrical outlets, telephone jacks and cable hook-ups to be; type of lighting required; your current and future storage needs; and whether you want to include luxury items. These details will enable your home improvement to better suit your needs. A professional remodeling contractor should be consulted about design and function of any remodeling project. He or she can help you with time and money-saving hints.
Local codes, permits
Building codes have been established by most cities, towns and counties. They vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. A building permit is generally required whenever structural work is involved or when the basic living area of the home is to be changed. A professional who works in your city or town every day will know to local requirements.
Before work begins, ask your contractor what inconveniences may occur while the project is under way and plan for them. Be sure your contractor is aware of vacations or special events so he or she may schedule appropriately.
Move personal property from construction areas and declare all work zones off-limits to children and pets.
Be sure to put all changes in writing if your remodeling project is modified while work is being done. Both parties should sign the amendment.
Keep a job file including contract, plans, specifications, invoices, change orders and all correspondence with the contractor.
Request a contractor’s affidavit of final release be provided to you at the time you make final payment and a final waiver of mechanic’s lien. This is your assurance you will not be liable for any third-party claims for nonpayment of materials or subcontractors.