Over the past few years, the home remodeling industry has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim economy. With the housing market struggling to get back on its feet, Americans seem to be appreciating their current homes a little bit more. From kitchen cabinets, to bathroom remodels, to entire home renovations, people are redesigning and sprucing up their living spaces in a somewhat affordable bid to ride out the housing crisis. But with all the drilling and hammering going on across the country, so goes the nightmare’s that sometimes come with home renovation projects. And with less disposable income floating around and consumers looking for rock bottom prices, it seems contractor disasters are lurking around every corner. If you have home renovations in mind, remember, knowledge is power.
Your most valuable resource is staring you in the face this very moment, and if you’re reading this, then you’re probably starting off on the right foot. The internet, besides word of mouth referrals, is an excellent source of education and research that should play a critical role in how you plan your home remodeling project. So if you’re looking to jazz up your pad and you’re a newbie to the world of home improvement, here are a few pointers to help you avoid those unnecessary headaches:
Step one, gain some insight on your project, and what has to be done and how. Sounding somewhat of an expert on the matter can help you greatly when speaking to home improvement contractors, and coming off like you know what you’re talking about could really help you avoid being taken for a ride to the cleaners.
Step two, search and research. If you do not have a word of mouth referral, and you’re starting from square one, it’s OK. In this digital age, looking for the right guy for the job just got a little easier. Several websites offer online reviews from previous customers that can really help you gauge Mr. Right’s reputation. Be aware, some maybe outright fabricated lies from the contractor, so try to look for guys who have several good reviews, with a sprinkle of mediocre. One great review usually means Mr. Right’s sister probably did him a favor.
Step three, is all about saving money. Becoming a little knowledgeable on your project (Step one) can also help you meet and even come under your budget. Online you can find cost effective alternatives to your current products, and even jump into a little do-it-yourself (DIY) to help lower your costs for labor. Take kitchen cabinets for example. While most custom jobs can run you in upwards of twenty to fifty thousand dollars or more, a little research might show you that you can save a boat load of money, and if you’re a little handy and have some time to spare, you might not even have to hire someone. Prefabricated, or ready to assemble kitchen cabinets (RTA), are a viable alternative that can be bought online at a fraction of the cost and shipped to your home in boxes. RTA kitchen cabinets are easy to assemble and with a little online help, installation could be a breeze.
Note: Please do take a really honest look at your level of handiness and do your in-depth research before starting any DIY. Lying to your self can quickly turn good intentions into bad situations.