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Is this summer the year you tackle a little home improvement project? Whether you plan to update your outdated kitchen into a modern chef’s paradise or bring your boring bathroom back to life, there are a few important steps to follow before you begin. To help make your home improvement project go as smoothly as possible, here are some renovation steps to consider.

Before You Start Any Home Improvement Project

1. Evaluate Your Space

It’s important to have a clear goal for your project. Is your remodel mostly cosmetic or do you plan to remove a wall or change the size of the space? It should come as no surprise that there’s a big difference in time and cost when remodeling a space’s appearance versus relocating pipes and moving walls. Focusing on giving the existing room a face lift can keep your home improvement project simple and less expensive. However, if you plan to change the room, be sure to plan for unexpected speed bumps, such as rerouting pipes or rewiring. It helps if you can avoid moving the location of the plumbing if possible. Consider what you can do to work with your existing room layout and work within your experience level. Tackling a major remodel could not only be costly, but could end in disaster if you bite off more than you can chew.

2. Set Your Budget

One of the most critical components of any home improvement project plan is a budget. Once you decide how you want your new space to look, start working out what it should cost. Will you be getting quotes from contractors or do you plan to do most of the work yourself? Price out the cost of materials for any parts of the job you’ll be doing yourself. It is a good idea to add 15 to 20 percent overhead to your existing budget. This will allow for unforeseen circumstances and help to keep your home improvement project on budget.

3. Obtain Permits

Many homeowners either don’t think about permits or consider obtaining them as an unnecessary step. However, permits are a necessary part of any serious home improvement project. In most cases, building permits are necessary to ensure your house remodel meets structural and fire safety requirements and other build codes.  Permits are typically required in many municipalities and can also be critical in helping you avoid having to redo work. Failing to get permits to ensure your project is within building codes could mean you’ll have to undo your work if you want to sell your home down the road. Once you have the permits sorted out, you can start gathering materials and getting to work.

4. Know When to Hire a Pro

Whether you’re a DIY master or this is your first home improvement project, it’s important to know when to call a pro. While smaller tasks like repainting or new flooring might be a fun challenge to tackle, rerouting your plumbing might be too much. Depending on the scope of your project, decide what tasks you feel comfortable doing on your own and what you would want a professional to handle. While you can save money by doing some steps yourself, you could break your budget by being too ambitious.

No matter what project you have in mind, be sure to take the proper steps before you get to work. If you are going to do a major remodel, be sure to call your insurance agent and check your coverage! You wouldn’t want to find out after a claim that your policy limit isn’t enough to cover that new addition. For your free quote or policy review, just call us at 724-929-2300 today. We can tailor an insurance policy to fit your specific needs and save you more by comparing prices with some of the nation’s best companies. Ask about additional savings when you bundle home and auto too!