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3 Key Steps to Prepare for Home Improvements

Our homes are some of the most important investments we will make over the course of our lives.  And, just like any investment, you want to make sure that it appreciates over time.  The key to that is home improvement.  Do it right, and you can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home, improving resale value, boosting curb appeal, and making your space more amazing to live in.

No matter what home improvement you’re planning, whether it’s a major renovation or the installation of leaf gutter guards, there are a few steps to take before you get started.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind before getting into the project:

Step 1: Do Your Homework

Good planning is the first step in any successful endeavour.  Look into the details.  One of the most irritating experiences you can have is to be halfway through the job and find that you’ve overlooked something crucial.  Even worse, you might run into unexpected costs and end up with an expensive hassle on your hands.  Have a thorough look at the job before you begin.  Measure twice, and you only have to cut once.

When you’re planning things out, consider what your goals are.  If you’re looking to boost resale value, you’ll want to go for improvements that give you the biggest bang for your buck.  Loads of add-ons can be great, but you might end up costing more for the improvements than you get back in terms of increased value.  Also, look into whether or not permits will be needed or if you need the benefit of experts.  This can save a load of headaches down the line.

Step 2: Choose Your Contractor Wisely

Whether you’re adding gutter leaf protection or building a new room onto your house, the contractor can make all the difference.  This means that you’ll need to do even more homework and ask the right questions.  Check with friends that have had work done to get solid recommendations.  Look into customer reviews and testimonials.  When you start to narrow the options down, look into reports from the Better Business Bureau.  Make sure that the contractor knows how to do the job right the first time.

Here are a few extra questions you may want to ask when vetting your contractor:

  • Do you have customer references?
  • What sorts of projects do you specialise in?
  • Do you use subcontractors?  How do you choose them?
  • Are you licenses and bonded to guarantee on-time completion of the project?
  • Can I see proof of insurance and your certificate of liability? (Make sure the latter is at least as high as the project’s value.)

Step 3: Take a Thorough Look at the Contract

A contract protects both you and the contractor.  It sets the terms of the project and makes sure you both know what to expect.  Even with a small project like gutter guard installation, the contract makes sure that the job is done to your satisfaction, on-time and within budget.  For larger jobs, you may want to have your attorney look things over, just to make sure the legalese doesn’t hide important clauses.

Any basic contract should include all of the following information:

  • Comprehensive project details
  • Full scheduling considerations, including start and end dates as well as interim dates for larger projects
  • All pertinent details regarding inspections, licenses, and permits, including who is responsible for obtaining them
  • All payment amounts and due dates
  • Full details on warranties and guarantees

Once you’ve gone over all the details, you’re ready to launch in.  You know what to expect, who you’re working with, what you’ll be paying, and when it will be finished.  All that’s left is to set the ball in motion.

If it’s time to give your gutter some love and you want to know more, feel free to contact us.  MKG provides the highest quality gutter protection for the best value on the market.

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