Sum­mer is the per­fect time of year for home ren­o­va­tions.  There’s no snow, no cold and plen­ty of day­light to get the job done.  Home ren­o­va­tions are a great way for home own­ers to add extra equi­ty into their home before sell­ing it or for a chance to improve the func­tion of the home and fall in love with it again.  What­ev­er the rea­son, there are two options to choose from when under­tak­ing a home ren­o­va­tion: make it a do-it-your­self project (DIY) or hire a con­trac­tor.
DIY Projects

There are quite a few home ren­o­va­tion projects that a home own­er can do on their own, depend­ing on how good they are with their hands.  If you do plan to under­take a DIY project:

  1. Make sure you have all the required infor­ma­tion regard­ing the project.  From how to com­plete the project to what tools are need­ed, you want to be ful­ly pre­pared when enter­ing a DIY project.  If it’s a new DIY project, make sure to ask a spe­cial­ist ques­tions before start­ing, from what mate­ri­als to use to the best ways to com­plete the project.
  2. Safe­ty first.  You don’t want any injuries on the job so make sure you wear the cor­rect pro­tec­tive gear, from gloves to hard hats to safe­ty glass­es.
  3. Know the equip­ment before using it.  Read the instruc­tions to all the equip­ment you will be using and make sure that you are capa­ble of using those tools.  If you’re not quite sure, try prac­tic­ing before­hand.  This way you can ask some­one for assis­tance instead of doing the job by your­self.
  4. Take your time.  A DIY project should nev­er be rushed in order for it to be com­plet­ed.  Sched­ule your time in such a way that you have extra time left over at the end of the project just in case unex­pect­ed issues come up.  Rush­ing a DIY project can tire you out and make the com­plet­ed project look poor­ly done.

Hire a Con­trac­tor

Many peo­ple are not “handy” when it comes to fix­ing up their homes so hir­ing a con­trac­tor is their best option.  Fur­ther­more, there are some projects that require hir­ing a con­trac­tor as they are just too big for the aver­age home­own­er to do on their own, such as fin­ish­ing a base­ment.  If you do hire a con­trac­tor:

  1. Be care­ful of scam artists.  We’ve seen on the news count­less occa­sions where peo­ple have been scammed by their con­trac­tor.  Before sign­ing a con­tract, research the con­trac­tor to see if they are cred­i­ble.  Check to see if the busi­ness is list­ed on the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau (BBB) and read reviews from past cus­tomers before mak­ing a deci­sions.  You don’t want to find your­self with a run­away con­trac­tor.
  2. Pay a deposit first and the full amount at the end.  Many home own­ers make the mis­take of pay­ing the con­trac­tor the full amount before the project is com­plet­ed.  Pay­ing the full amount upfront allows the con­trac­tor to leave at any­time, with­out com­plet­ing the work, as they have received their pay­ment.  To avoid this, pay a deposit at the begin­ning and either grad­u­al­ly pay the rest through­out the project or wait until its com­plet­ed.  This way, the con­trac­tor won’t leave a job half done.
  3. Shop around for a con­trac­tor.  Just like most items we buy, shop around for the best con­trac­tor, com­par­ing quotes, reviews and the work they offer.  Also, don’t always go for the con­trac­tor with the cheap­est price.  The ren­o­va­tion may save you mon­ey in the short run but will cost you more in the long run.

Gen­er­al Tips

  1. If you’re ren­o­vat­ing a room that has secu­ri­ty cam­eras installed, ask your secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny about mov­ing or dis­con­nect­ing them for the time being until the ren­o­va­tion is com­plete.  Most secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies will offer to help re-install the cam­eras after a major ren­o­va­tion.
  2. If you’ll be liv­ing through a home ren­o­va­tion, make sure that you’re aware of where the equip­ment is locat­ed and if you need to wear any pro­tec­tive gear.  Also, keep your belong­ings orga­nized and stored away, keep­ing the most impor­tant items present.  You don’t want things get­ting lost.
  3. If it’s your first home ren­o­va­tion, start with a room or a small­er project first.  Ren­o­va­tions can cost thou­sands so you want to see the end result first before com­mit­ting to a larg­er project.
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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.