Carrying out home improvement projects can be both exciting and stressful. Making your home more comfortable or more stylish can be a wonderful experience, but it can also easily be a major headache for one common reason: cutting corners to save money. Yes, home improvement projects can be costly, but believe it or not paying for quality products and installation up front can actually save you money down the line. If a product is not up to standard or the contractor you hired skimped on certain materials or did a rush-job, chances are you will be paying a lot more than you bargained for. In this article you will discover the four important things you need to know about attempting to save money on home improvement projects.
When first undertaking a home improvement project, you might be deciding between hiring a professional home improvement contractor or undertaking the project yourself. While it is often true that smaller projects can be done without the help of a professional contractor, in most cases, and certainly on big jobs, it is necessary to hire a professional home improvement contractor.
First, it is almost always more cost-effective to hire a professional. Many homeowners are under the impression that carrying out home improvement projects themselves is cheaper. The thing is, there are plenty of mistakes that occur when attempting a DIY job due to a lack of knowledge and skills, which ultimately can be expensive to fix. Furthermore, professional home improvement contractors will have industry contacts, so they are usually able to get discounts on building materials, and likewise can source higher quality materials, which is certainly a win-win situation.
Secondly, you need to consider the cost of time. Even if you think you are able to tackle a home improvement project yourself, it is likely it will take you far longer to complete the job than it would for a professional contractor. Jobs usually end up taking much longer than expected because the project was either too large, or above a regular homeowner’s skill-level. Or, if attempting to DIY, you might encounter additional problems due to your inexperience, which will not only take extra time to fix, but extra money, too.
The Better the Product, the Fewer Future Headaches
The feeling of nabbing a great bargain on home improvement products is universal, but that feeling is all-too-often fleeting as you realize you have in fact not nabbed a good deal, but rather paid more than necessary for a sub-par product. It is easy to fall into the trap of major discounts on products, especially when home improvement products like windows or tiling are often quite costly to begin with. However, cheaper, inferior-quality products not only last a shorter amount of time, they are more likely to be faulty and not work as intended. This is especially true of windows, doors and insulation. These products work to keep your home temperate and comfortable, and if they are installed improperly or are inferior in quality, chances are you will be paying much more in utility and energy bills. That is why it is almost always best to stick to high-quality products from the get-go.
Some Home Improvement Projects Can Add Value to Your Home
There are plenty of home improvement projects worth investing in because in the long-run, they will actually add value to your home and save you money. For example, window replacements are a great way to add value to your home (and reduce your utility bills at the same time). According to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, when you invest in energy-efficient windows with low-E coating, you can save up to 15% on your utility bills each year. Furthermore, when investing in energy-efficient replacement windows, you can expect to recoup around 60% - 90% of your costs when selling your home.
Insulation is another product you do not want to skimp on, as insulation is vital to keeping your home comfortable, and energy bills low. Furthermore, adding insulation to your home and air sealing cracks around the house not only saves you in energy costs, but is also appealing to buyers, should you ever intend to sell down the line.
Quality Installation Trumps Cost-Cutting Tactics
Finding the right home improvement contractor is perhaps the most important step when undertaking any home improvement project. The right home improvement contractor will offer you quality installation, which can save you time and money down the line. As aforementioned, a poorly installed product will not only fail to work as intended, chances are it will need to be re-installed down the line, which will cost you much more than if you had originally chosen a slightly more expensive, yet more qualified home improvement contractor. Furthermore, experienced home improvement contractors will have a sound understanding of what you need and be able to provide recommendations. They will be able to clearly explain the pros and cons of different options and answer a range of questions. Not to mention they know which products are best, where to find these products, and can often get good deals on quality products through industry connections and contacts.