An easy and effective project during the winter is to buy a few rolls of insulation and install them in your attic as directed on the package. It is not necessary to remove already existing insulation. Be sure not to cover any roof ventilation devices or block air flow that is needed from the eaves up through your ridge vent.
This half day project will surely save you money in energy costs plus will keep you tasty during the cold winter months.
Setting an Unrealistic Budget
People often underestimate what it’s going to cost to do a big renovation, and part of that is because they don’t realize the biggest costs in a renovation usually is the labor and the “unexpected surprises”. You never know what’s going to happen once you start the demolition process. As soon as you open up a wall, you never know what you’re going to find behind that wall, so you need to pad your budget, and you need to be realistic. A reputable contractor will not over charge you up front for unexpected problems… they will normally discuss those problems as they emerge and bill you on a (time and material) basis at the end of the project.
Overbuilding for Your Neighborhood
The biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to figure what the payback is going to be, is they overbuild for their neighborhood. They have a $100,000 house and they put a $100,000 addition on it, so now they have a $200,000 house in a $100,000 neighborhood. You can say, “I want my home to be the way I want it”. This is true, but if you ever want to sell your “perfect” home, expect a less than perfect selling price.
Counting The Cost
A renovation project, whether DIY or by a contractor, will be invasive and inconvenient for a period of time. Know that things will be uncomfortable and out of sorts for a while.
If you are getting a new kitchen, where will you eat?
If you are getting a closet shelf system, where will your everyday clothes be?
New master bath… get used to sharing with the kids.
Plan ahead for the little things that are bigger than you thought.
Hiring The Wrong Contractor
You need to make sure that the contractor is right for you, because he’s going to be in your home, invading your living space and privacy. Look for a valid contractors’ license, BBB accreditation, current testimonials, and more. Be sure they have liability insurance and a written guarantee for their materials and workmanship. Discuss what work times are and are not acceptable. Some contractors utilize subs to do specialized work. Those subs tend to work late hours for their own convenience and efficiency, which can ultimately infringe on your privacy with the family. Yes, your project needs to be finished in a timely manner, but it is still important to set guidelines for workers that will be in your home.