Home improvement can be anything from installing a new kitchen to fixing a leaky roof. It’s all about improving your house so that it functions better for you and your family.
It can also increase the value of your home if it is done well. However, you should consult with a real estate professional before undertaking any major projects that could affect your home’s saleability in the future.
Almost all homeowners have to make some sort of home improvement at one time or another. Some are prompted by need — a leaky roof or moldy basement, for instance — while others take on improvements to boost their home’s appeal or make it more functional.
There are a variety of ways to carry out home improvement work, and many people choose to do some or even all of the work themselves. This can save money, but some jobs require the skills of a professional tradesperson and should not be attempted on your own.
A contractor can help you determine what projects are a good fit for your budget and skill level. He can also help you with materials and design. It’s important to be honest with your contractor about your needs and goals for the project. It is equally important to choose a reputable contractor who will complete the work and not overcharge you.
Some homeowners are able to stick to the budget they set for their home improvement projects. But for many, the costs go up when unexpected problems arise. Finding out that your plumbing leak caused a rotten subfloor or that your shingles were hiding shoddy repair work can quickly derail your plans and cause you to go over budget.
It’s important to get estimates from multiple contractors before making a decision. Ask for references from previous clients and talk with them about their experience working with the contractor. You should also be sure to read the contract carefully to be sure it contains all the necessary details, such as the specifics of the work to be performed and the materials to be used. The contract should also contain the approximate dates when the work will begin and when it is expected to be substantially completed. Finally, Maryland law requires that a contract for home improvement work be in writing and signed by both the consumer and the business before the work begins or any payment is made. You should avoid any contractor who refuses to provide you with a written contract or does not have his name, address, and MHIC license number preprinted on the contract.