A home improvement project is any change to a home that adds value, improves function or prolongs the life of the house. It can be done by you or by a contractor. There are a few things to keep in mind before you begin a home renovation.
1. Choose a contractor carefully
Before you hire a home improvement contractor, make sure they are licensed in your state and insured to work on your property. Some states require contractors to pass a test on home improvement law and general business competency before being granted a license. You can also check if they are a member of a trade association or professional organization.
2. Get a contract in writing
Every home improvement contract should include an itemized description of the work to be performed and the materials to be used. It should also specify dates and a payment schedule.
3. Know your costs
Before beginning a home improvement project, it is essential to establish an accurate budget. This will help you avoid falling into a budget crunch and overspending on the project.
4. Do your research and shop around
Before starting any home improvement project, it is essential to do your homework and shop around for the best deals. It is important to avoid getting ripped off by a contractor who quotes low prices but cannot complete the job on time or does not deliver the results you expect.
5. Ask for references from previous clients
When hiring a home improvement contractor, make sure they have at least several positive references from their past customers. This will give you an idea of the quality and workmanship of the home improvement contractor.
6. Consider a credit card for financing mini improvements
If you have minimal upgrades that you want to do but don’t have the cash available, consider a credit card with 0% APR for a year or a cashback reward on purchases made during that period.
7. Take advantage of a tax deduction or credit
If the cost of a home improvement project is less than $2,000, you can deduct the expense from your taxable income. The amount you write off depends on the tax code and whether the project is considered a repair or an improvement.
8. Affordability is key
If a home improvement project is beyond your budget, look into a home equity loan. This loan can be repaid over five to 30 years via fixed monthly payments.
A home equity loan is a great way to cover a portion of the expenses associated with your home improvement project, but you must be certain that it will not cause your total debt to exceed 85% of your home’s value. It’s also a good idea to consult a mortgage broker before making this decision.
9. Be careful of hidden fees
It is a good idea to always shop around for the best price on home improvement projects, especially when dealing with contractors. This will save you money and ensure that the work is completed properly.