Home Improvements: Budgeting to Stay on Schedule and Save Money

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Spring time creates a desire for home improvements. You may be thinking about updating your outside stairs, remodeling your kitchen, or adding a garage the your property. Here are general guidelines to help your home improvement project remain within budget:

1) Decide if a project can be done by yourself with volunteers. For example, installing a bath tub should be completed by a professional contractor while you may decide on installing a simple picket fence.

2) Establish a budget with 10% to 20% extra for better grade equipment or materials.  You may want hardwood floors then change your mind and purchase marble.

3) Keep all paperwork including cancelled checks, credit card receipts, and contracts in a safe location in case of a dispute.

4) Monitor your contractors’ progression  and continue to ask questions. It is your money and you deserve detailed explanation for all work performed.

5) Make sure an adult in at home to provide basic supervision to keep for paying for 2 hour lunches.

6) Follow your instinct during the interview process and ask multiple questions including verification of backgrounds and references.

7) Contact all references to determine the truth behind presented information. For instance, if a contractor states 5 years as a stone mason then you should be able to find out the exact experience.

8) You may want to give the contractor a small down payment with pre-established pay schedules to keep him/her/them motivated to finish the job on time.

9) Follow reasonable health measures. For example, individuals with respiratory problems should limit contact with flying dusts. Speak to your health care professional ,as needed. 

10) Inspect work as it is peformed to make sure the work is satisfactory. 

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