Selecting the Right Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Your home is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. The value of your investment can often be positively impacted by strategically selected home improvement projects. Some projects are conducive for DIY weekend warriors and home improvement hobbyists. However, other projects require hiring experts in order to ensure the job is done right, especially when trying to get the greatest return on the resell of your home. A salient example would be hiring a contractor to rewire electrical outlets.

The success of your home improvement project is highly dependent upon hiring the right contractor. The vast majority of contractors within the home improvement arena are honest and reputable. Unfortunately, as with any profession, there are unscrupulous contractors who can turn your home improvement dream into a construction nightmare. It is imperative for homeowners to take the requisite steps in order to prevent hiring the wrong contractor.

Referrals from family and trusted friends are the best route to selecting the right contractor. Researching each potential contractor’s record with the Better Business Bureau is also strongly suggested. Shoddy operators most often have a poor rating with the BBB, but most homeowners fail to take this basic due diligence step which can help prevent you from making the same mistake as others before you.

Reputable home improvement contractors are willing to give you a written estimate broken out between materials and labor prior to initiating a job. Insist upon this written estimate, and avoid any contractor who refuses to provide this prior to any work commencing. Obtain several quotes when interviewing contractors, and follow up with direct questions should any quote be far less than the others. This can often be a sign that the contractor is planning on pocketing your money without fully completing the project.

Although no contractor has a crystal ball and unforeseen circumstances can arise delaying a job, always get a written estimate outlining the schedule and targeted completion date for the project. Failure to do this often leads to subsequent disagreements over what the projected time frame was and corresponding frustration on the part of the homeowner.

What to Do If You Have a Poorly Done Home Improvement Remodeling Project in a Home You Buy

Many people like to buy “fixer-upper” homes to save money on their house purchase. Others think they are getting a well-built house only to find out after they move in that there was a home improvement remodeling attempt that went awry. If you know that you are facing the disastrous results of someone else’s shoddy work, you have to take the problems one step at a time.

1. Foundation Problems

If there has been an addition put onto your house, check the foundation to make sure it is level. Drop a marble on the floor and see if it rolls quickly to one side of the room, indicating a slope in that direction. Check outside to see if the new part of the foundation is intact, without crumbling or cracks.

If the foundation on the new section is not up to par, it may need some rework. For a foundation that is settling faster than the main house foundation is settling, you might have to use hydraulic jacks to level it. You might have to bring in a backhoe and fill in dirt under the foundation if it has washed away. Mud-jacking is one solution for sinking foundations. You may need to use epoxy or cement if you have cracks in the foundation. These are home improvement remodeling tasks that are hard work, are very important, but are not immediately noticed by many people.

2. Water Damage

Look for water damage in places where moisture accumulates. Check the bathroom to make sure that the home improvement remodeling do-it-yourselfer used the correct materials to create a moisture barrier. Check newly installed windows to ensure that they were put in properly, with no room for water to leak into the room or into the wall.

If you find water coming into the house anywhere, you might need to do a corrective home improvement remodeling project to fix the problem. You might need to reinstall the windows, or have new ones put in if those are damaged by the water leakage. You might need to have an entire bathroom remodeling job done. Whatever you do, make sure you find out exactly where the previous remodeler went wrong and make the necessary changes. You will find that a home remodeling company has all the information needed to overcome all these water-related problems.

3. Faulty Wiring

The person who had the home before you did may have started an ambitious home improvement remodeling rewiring project without the necessary skills to pull it off. If you see sparks, bare wires, missing outlet covers, outlets that do not work, or have breakers that are constantly tripping, you might have a wiring problem.

If you are very experienced at working with electrical systems, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. You will just need to set aside a time when the household will be able to be without electricity while you work. Then, use your skills to restring wiring, rewire plugs, reorganize junction boxes and make sure there are no splices, and reapportion the circuits on the breaker box so that it is at its safest and most productive. If you do not have these skills, it is better to leave this home improvement remodeling job to an experienced remodeling company.