Tips for the Handy New Homeowner
Home improvement is an area that most new home owners will be diving right into with both feet. Even a brand new home, that was built just for you, will require periodic maintenance and eventually updates that you may have simply forgotten when you built, or decided to put off until later.
If you’ve purchased an older home, then you need this article even more. You probably bought the house with a list of things you know you’ll be working on.
Making the house you’ve purchased into more of a home and getting the most out of your purchase, will always take a little after thought. Custom colors to please your taste and the little amenities that you can’t live without, are now the task of the day.
Starting out in a new home, you will most likely have a list of jobs. Some that need to be done right away and also a list of jobs that will get done some day, but are not a priority. Knowing the difference and deciding where to start, can be an issue in itself.
Take care of anything mechanical that will do more damage if left unattended. Plumbing or heating leaks, bad wiring, roofing leaks. These areas are usually left to the professionals, as licensing and codes are different in most jurisdictions and doing some of this yourself, can not only get you in over your head, it can also get you into legal trouble.
Make sure you check with the local code enforcement agencies to find out what the building permit requirements are and also license requirements for contractors in your area.
Another good tip is to ask any contractor you do intend to hire, to provide proof of any required license, as well as a certificate of insurance. Follow this up with a call to the insurance company and make sure your contractor didn’t just print out his insurance binder with a word processor and a color printer. Actual insurance is what you need, not a good forgery.
Shop around for a contractor you feel comfortable with. Get prices yes, but don’t allow price to be the only deciding factor. Getting a good deal isn’t always a plus when the workmanship is sub par. You’ll wish you spent the extra money for a better contractor. Friends and relatives are a valuable resource for recommendations. Use their prior experience to your benefit.
If you are attempting to perform home improvement projects on your own, then research is your best friend. Use the Internet. Find DIY websites for the specific job your working on.