Home Improvement – Things to Remember
Whether you want to improve your home’s value or increase your enjoyment, a home improvement plan is a great way to boost your quality of life. But you need to do some homework first. A few things to remember include:
– Make sure that you hire a licensed contractor. The state of New York requires that any contractor who performs home improvement work have a license. The fine for a “home improvement” project without a license can range from $500 to $5,000.
– Establish a payment schedule. You should also ask your contractor for references and insurance. If the company you hire has a good track record, you might be able to negotiate with the contractor on a lower price. If not, you can file a lawsuit against the contractor for actual damages. The Attorney General’s Office can seek reasonable attorneys’ fees in this situation.
– Keep a detailed list of the work that needs to be done. This will help you to negotiate with the contractor and will also ensure that you do not end up paying for unnecessary upgrades. You should also check with the local building codes office to make sure that the work you have in mind is legal in your area.
– Don’t underestimate the cost of materials. Compared to the previous year, materials prices have risen 400%. This is especially true for flooring, countertops, and paint. You can save a lot of money by buying in bulk. However, you are still responsible for paying tax on the material costs.
– If you are thinking of doing a large home improvement project, you may want to look into getting a home equity loan. These loans are often easier to obtain than personal loans, but you are required to give up a portion of your home’s value. You will also need to undergo a longer underwriting process. They can be a little more expensive, but the interest rates are typically much lower than personal loans.
– The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that home remodeling will peak in the first half of this year and then slow down for the rest of the year. This is due to the entry of private labels and new players into the market. In addition, inflation and rising mortgage rates are taking a toll on the home remodeling industry.
– Beware of contractors who do not provide a written contract. You should have a detailed list of the work that needs done, the timeline, and the price of the home improvement project. You should also check with your building codes office to see if your municipality requires a written contract for any home improvement projects. If not, you can use an escrow account only to fund the work until the project is completed.
– Invest in quality upgrades for your mid-range home. If you are looking to upgrade to a more luxurious house, you may need to spend more than the average homeowner. If your goal is to sell your home, you won’t want to invest in upgrades that will decrease its value.