As any fan of renovation or “flip” shows on TV knows, DIY construction is fraught with perils, especially when amateur fixers overestimate their abilities. “You get what you pay for” is as true in home improvement as anywhere, and with so many people choosing to upgrade rather than move, it’s important to know the right and wrong ways to save money.
Have a Plan and a Budget
Ideas are the fun part of remodeling, but before you swing a hammer, be sure you know what you’re getting into and how much it will cost.
Good measurements are key to a good plan. That includes appliances, cabinets, and flooring as well as utilities and fixtures. Moving plumbing, HVAC, and wiring can be expensive, so get estimates before you commit to a budget-busting idea. Do you really need to move that toilet? Put a sink in the new kitchen island? Relocate the laundry room? The answer may be yes but be sure to weigh the costs versus the benefits.
Stick to Your Plan
If you’ve done a good job of planning, this won’t be hard. But mid-project changes can be costly. It’s a lot less expensive to move plumbing, electricity and ductwork while walls are open. Plus, it saves time.
When work goes beyond the basics, hiring professional contractors makes the job go faster, easier, and safer. They do this kind of work every day, have the right tools, and know building codes and standards.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do some of the work yourself, but when it comes things like plumbing and electrical work, leave it to the pros. They’re licensed, bonded, and insured to protect both you and themselves.
Don’t Overlook Permits and Codes
Permit regulations vary by jurisdiction, but if yours requires a permit and inspection, get them. If an inspector sees unpermitted work being done, they can shut the job down, require existing work to be torn out, and delay a project by days or even weeks.
Codes and standards are in place to protect you, your home, and your family. Follow the rules to save time and money. And if a contractor suggests ignoring permits to save time and money, don’t hire them. It’s an indication of disregard for your time, money, and safety.
Unpermitted work can also cost you dearly when it comes time to sell a property.
Expect the Unexpected
Even the best plans can get upset by unforeseen troubles. You don’t know what’s behind the walls until you open them up. Remodeling can uncover water damage, rot, termites, and asbestos, adding time and expense to your project.
Leave at least 10% in the budget for contingencies and don’t set unrealistic timelines.
Talk to Pros Before You Start
Like we said, changes and mistakes can be costly. When it comes to electrical work, they can be deadly, too. Bringing in licensed, professional contractors during the planning stage lets you take advantage of their knowledge and experience.
The pros at Allstar Electrical Services are just a phone call away. Call us at (303) 399-7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. We’ve been serving homeowners and businesses along Colorado’s Front Range since 2000 and are top-rated by the BBB.