Home repair can be a stressful thing to deal with, especially when you are faced with excessive damages to your property. On top of the monumental costs that can come with this process, you will also be tasked with finding the right contractor to get the job done right, so you won’t have to go through the same thing a few months later.
Before embarking on the intimidating journey of getting repairs done to your home, there are a few things that you should know before getting started. By keeping these 5 tips in mind as a homeowner, you will be able to minimize the risk of something going wrong as much as possible, allowing yourself to breathe during your hectic time of need.
1. Come Up With a Budget and Stick To It
Home repairs can get expensive, especially when you do not have a maximum cost range that you would like to stick to. Individual tasks and equipment prices can add up over time until you are handed a huge bill that you did not plan for.
While you should always be ready for unexpected costs when planning to fix or improve anything on your property, deciding on a budget and going through with it to the end can be just what you need to keep your costs in a ballpark that doesn’t break the bank.
Here are some tips that will help you determine a budget for your home improvement project:
Research and compare prices for the necessary services
The very first thing that you should do, before contacting anyone to complete repairs on your home, is research the average prices for each service that you require. If you have no idea what the going rate is for each part of your project, it will be very easy for someone to overcharge you without your knowledge.
When it comes to staying within the lines of a budget, it is increasingly important that you can find the best possible deal, which will only be realistic if you have something to compare it to. To do this, you can conduct a simple search on Google, check the websites of contractors in your area from low end to high, and even call around to gather pricing data and make a determination of what is fair for your project.
Consider the budget that your income can sustain
After you have confirmed the specific services that you will need from your contractor and calculated an average price that you will be comfortable paying, it will be much easier to determine your final budget for the entire project. Unfortunately, the process is never as easy as it seems, especially if you need costly repairs for extensive damage to your property.
While working on figuring out your budget, it is helpful to keep the below tips in mind:
Understand that the lowest price usually will not equate to the most quality work
Coming up with a budget for your home repair project does not exactly mean spending less money for a particular service. While you should always educate yourself on the average going rate for all of the work that you need to be done in order to avoid overpaying, you should not be okay with underpaying either.
One of the most important things to remember as a homeowner is that the lowest price will usually not equate to the most quality level of work. In other words, a cheap renovation cost will most likely come with unsatisfactory results and even more money out of your pocket for additional repairs.
Be firm with your budget, and let your contractor know how much you are working with right away
Once you have decided what you will need to put to the side for your home repair project, you will need to let your contractor know what you are working with. This way, you will be able to work out fair pricing for services that match what you would like to pay overall.
In this instance, it is very important that you are working with a contractor you trust, so you can avoid being charged beyond your budget for services that are not necessary for your specific needs.
Break up the project over time to accommodate what you would like to spend
In the event that the price estimate of your home repair is much more than you feel you can handle based on the extra money that you can keep up with, you shouldn’t worry about not being able to complete the project at all. Instead, homeowners who are dealing with a budget that is bigger than they can chew at the moment can consider another payment option to get the job done on their own time.
During your home repair project, you should not let a high-cost estimate scare you away from getting started. While a large price tag can be very intimidating and contribute to your stress in your time of need, it does not necessarily mean that everything must be paid upfront.
To be more specific, there is always the idea of speaking to your contractor and working out a plan where you can break up phases of the project over time. This way, a project that might total up to thousands of dollars could only cost you hundreds a month.
While the timeline of your project will be extended significantly, it will be worth the wait when you don’t have to sacrifice so much of your income all at once.
2. Find The Right Contractor/Team
Before beginning any kind of home project, you will need to hire the person who will actually be doing the work: your contractor. However, the process of hiring someone to take on this huge task is much more complicated than what you might assume.
The overall success of home repairs is dependent on how the job is done. Low quality work will just result in more repairs, costing you much more than expected in the long run. You will want to make sure that everything is completed correctly the first time so you never have to go through this process again for the same issue. https://www.moneycrashers.com/find-good-contractor-home-improvement/
These are the characteristics of a good contractor that you should be on the lookout for:
- Great reputation
- Professional qualifications
- Fully licensed to work
- Exemplary communication
All great and honest contractors have a reputation to match their services. Before you consider hiring someone to work in your home, you should be checking online reviews and references from previous customers.
On top of proof of customer satisfaction, the contractor of your choice must be professionally qualified and fully licensed to work on your project. If you find that the communication skills of your potential hire are not up to your standards, you should immediately look elsewhere.
Once you find your ideal contractor, you are only about half of the way there. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind that will help the transaction with your contractor run as smoothly as possible:
Ensure the terms of your deal are written clearly in the contract
After you consult with a contractor and go over the terms of your deal, you must ensure that everything you discussed in conversation is written clearly in the contract. This is a step that should not be missed, regardless of how friendly your contractor is.
At the end of the day, your home repair project is a business transaction, and you should protect yourself accordingly before you leave room for something to go wrong. Double-check to make sure there is equal understanding on both sides before signing the contract.
Select all of your preferred colors and materials before the job begins
When it comes to home repairs, there is usually a cosmetic element included in the job. For instance, if you have a hole in your wall that needs to be patched up, your contractor will paint over it before walking away.
In any case, you will want to select all of your preferred paint colors and any other necessary materials that will be incorporated into your home before the job begins. By having everything ready for your contractor, you can avoid a lot of mistakes.
Check the credentials of all members of your contractor’s team
One of the first steps in hiring a contractor is making sure that they are licensed and insured. However, what most homeowners don’t know is that all members of the contractor’s team must have the same qualifications to work on your property. To avoid any liabilities, it is your responsibility to check on these criteria before the project begins.
Wait until each phase of the project is done to your liking before you give payment
The final tip to keep in mind when working with a contractor on home repair is to send payment only when you see the completion of each phase. Conduct a final walkthrough before signing off on the completion of the job in case any additional work is needed.
3. Prepare The Area Before The Job Begins
Before your contractor and team start working on your home, you should create a designated place for them to keep their equipment while they are not on the job. The last thing that you want is clutter in your home or yard after a long day of repairs.
Ensure that all entryways are cleared and everything will be safe and convenient prior to getting started. If you have anything that you do not want to be broken or damaged during this process, remove it from the area beforehand as well.
4. Know The Right Time To Start Repairs
Another one of the most important tips to know as a homeowner before starting repairs is understanding the right time to start. This is especially relevant in any kind of demolition is needed.
Depending on the area that needs repair or renovation, there might be appliances that you need to use or walkways that should be cleared.
You won’t want to give your contractor the go-ahead to get started on something right away if it will become inconvenient in your daily life throughout the duration of the process, especially if it is not yet necessary.
5. A Public Adjuster Can Help You With Home Repairs
Last but not least, all homeowners should be aware of the immense value that a public adjuster can bring to home repairs. Having an insurance policy and paying a premium every month is only half of the battle when it comes to damages. A public adjuster comes in as a representative that will help you navigate the process of filing a home insurance claim for your damages.
By going through with a claim correctly and winning a settlement check, you will be able to get the funds needed from your insurer, which can then be used to hire contractors to put everything back together.
Instead of adding to the stress of dealing with a damaged home by trying to file the claim on your own, or even coming out of pocket for the entire project, you can rely on a trusted public adjuster. Similar to a lawyer, they will speak for you and act as the middle man between yourself and the insurance company.
As someone who owns a house, you are not expected to have advanced knowledge of the home insurance industry. With that being said, finding a public adjuster that you can depend on is one of the most valuable tools that you can give yourself.
Upon the discovery of any kind of home damage, you should immediately contact your public adjuster to do a walkthrough of your property. After assessing the damages, they will file the entire claim for you, ensuring that all necessary information is included. From there, you can count on your adjuster to guide you through the technicalities, leading you directly to your settlement check.
If you’ve got preexisting damage to your home or another kind of property and you’re not sure how to make the most of a damage claim, reach out to Bulldog Adjusters to find out how we can help you handle the hassle of your home insurance company. Here at Bulldog Adjusters, we work our hardest to make sure that you get the largest possible settlement from your insurance company!