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3 Important Tips Home Improvement Projects

Any home improvement project to your house can be a stressful time. Having just gone through the process of getting quotes to completion, I thought I would share what I learned. Keep reading for 3 very IMPORTANT tips that apply to any home improvement project and can help make it a little less stressful!

First let me tell you about our house. We moved in with hollywood dreams and a list of home improvements we would do. Then life happened. First we had to remove the awful smelling carpet. New flooring downstairs was put in before me moved in. A new wood burning insert was put in within a year. We painted some rooms and customized it to our liking! Thanks to some hail damage, we have a new roof too! We added new windows and door to the front of the house as well. All these improvements have been successful!

At this point we have unfinished hand rails on the stairs, counter tops that were past being dated, and brass hardware that had to go! While we love our first home, situations in our life have changed and we are needing to relocate closer to my husbands dream job… the farm! This was part of our new year goals for 2019! However, this means it is time to get these other projects done to sell the house!

Let the work begin! We started with updating the hardware since that was easy and done within a day! Next, painting, which has been a learning process. Maybe more so for me than my husband. So here are my tips that I learned, kind of the hard way!

Get Multiple Quotes

When obtaining quotes for your home improvement project, get more than one! Do not settle for the first person that promises you the moon. Going through this process will not only give you a range of price points to work with, but also ideas. When we began getting quotes, I wanted to whole house painted, top to bottom! The goal again is to get the house ready to sell. Painting everything is not what was going to help get us ready. The painters that came to do the first few estimates did not seem to be mindful of my true needs or budget. They were than willing to quote me almost nine
or ten thousand to do everything I “wanted”, not “needed”.

It took one very honest person to come in and set me in the right direction. Pointing out that the trim and doors are gorgeous and do not needed painted. The kid’s rooms were good and did not need any changes. I do think that job then became to small for him to take on as he is a larger contractor because it took a while to get the quote back. By the time I had received it, I had already given the business to someone else. I did however follow his advice to only paint what really needed to be done!

Getting second quotes from the same contractors are not a bad idea either. You may change your mind on the scope of work to have done with the original home improvement project and they may need to adjust cost. While this may not seem beneficial and annoying to the contractor, it is important to know exactly what you will be paying for. Which brings me to the next point!

Communicate The Specifics

When we were getting quotes, I often did It on my own due to my husbands work schedule. I thought we were on the same page as to what exactly we wanted. I thought that we had agreed firmly on what we were having done and our time line to have it done in. When it came down to it, he did not know that I wanted the living room and our bathroom repainted.

Likewise, communication with the contractor is important. The painting company that we used came once and did a quote. I really liked the owner. He was polite, professional and had children around my kids age. Not to mention he is a veteran and I love supporting veterans whenever I can. When I called to schedule the work, I asked if he needed to come requote since it had been a while or what we needed to do to move forward. He called back 3 days later and was ready to schedule the work.

I did research on my own on paint colors that are good for resale value. My husband and I went and picked them out, and I TEXTED them to the company. Never once did the painter come and confirm what work was being done or verify colors. This stressed me out to be honest. However, when you hire a professional, you put your trust in them. Day one he calls and confirms work, suggests more and tells me he misunderstood what I wanted when quoting. This conversation added $1100 to our total. While I agreed to all the extras, I failed to discuss it with my husband. This caused tension between all three of us the rest of the project. I felt like I was walking a fine line to keep both my husband and the painter happy.

Ugh! Talk about a tough situation. The lack of communication between the three of us inconvenienced all of us. The strain it placed during the 5 days that our house was a mess was not worth it. The takeaway here is to make sure you and your significant other are there for the quote and be very specific on what you are needing or wanting done. Always request a second quote from the contractor you select for any home improvement project. This gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments before the project starts and you will not be caught off guard. Lastly, select a contractor that is willing to assist you in this process. Make sure they are willing to come do a second quote. Do they help in selecting the colors or even to meet you to select them?

Don’t Settle For Less Than Perfect

After this home improvement project was finished, we began cleaning up our home. Being satisfied with the overall job done, we overlooked thee imperfections and we decided to fix them on our own in order to “be done” with painting. The house is brighter and looks clean and complete for the first time since we moved in A day later we noticed white paint splatters on the floor and stairs. Tiny, but there.

Anyone that has redone any part of their house knows that you take great pride in it. You also know that it is not cheap. I had originally told the owner of the company that I was going to clean the floor myself, I quickly changed my mind. We paid good money, that we worked hard for to have a good quality, professional job done. I will not be spending my time cleaning up their mess! Nor should anyone else have to!

I hope that the lessons I learned will help someone from making the same! It is easy to get caught in the excitement of a project and miss small and minor details. Make yourself a list and don’t settle!

Good luck to you as you take on any home improvement projects! I would love to hear any more tips, tricks, or lessons from you all! Please comment below with any advice or recommendations you have!

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XOXO- The Squirrelly Mom!