How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Home Improvement

Spring and summer are the ideal seasons for home improvement, whether you’re just focusing on window replacement or you’re knocking down walls to turn your dining room into a bowling alley – the weather is ideal and it can create a bit of chaotic zeal in homeowners. Sometimes the excitement of the seasonal change as well as the potential change in the home leads to mistakes in the home improvement process. Here are some of the more common mistakes… hopefully with the proper forethought you can avoid them.

Water Cutoffs – Before you start any renovation project in your home, even if you’re using a general contractor, you need to locate the water cutoff in your home as well as at the street level. This is especially true if you’re doing any renovation or improvement on the wet work areas of your home (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) If you know where the cutoff is you can quickly address an issue if disaster strikes.

Minimize Dust and Debris – Homeowners often neglect to consider that renovation and remodeling is messy. If there’s demolition involved of any sort, it’s even more so. Take the time to prep the work area for containment to minimize dust and debris from traveling around your home. Use plastic sheets for floors and hang drapes or screens in the work area. At the end of every work session, go over your area with a shop vac.

Don’t Rush – It might be fun to start swinging a sledge hammer to take down a wall, but don’t rush into any home improvement gig, especially where there’s demolition involved. Informed and careful remodeling is safe remodeling. Shut down electricity, check for load-bearing wall placement, cut water to the demo area, locate studs, pipes and wires, cut investigative holes in walls – make sure you know what you’re getting into when you prep to rearrange the floor plan of your home.

Protect Surfaces – If you have finished surfaces in your home, then mask them off. This includes cabinets, walls, baseboards, flouring, trim, etc. If you have tile work and finished countertops, cover those as well. There’s always the potential for dropped tools, flying debris, sharp debris, spills and other incidents that could mar the surfaces in your home.

Plan Around Plumbing – You might think you’ve got this home improvement gig in the bag but plumbing has a way of being a pain for many homeowners that shoot for DIY projects. Jobs also have a way of expanding suddenly as they deviate from the plans. Make sure you have end-stop fitting caps to close off pipes if you can’t finish in a day. This way you can turn your water back on.

Protect Floors – If you’re remodeling in a space with appliances then you need to protect your floors. Put down carpet or Masonite so that you can roll appliances around easily. Make sure the floor is clean and swept so that debris, dust and dirt can’t scratch the surface while you’re moving items around.