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Home Improvement: What You Need To Know

• Under: Home Improvement


Home improvement is the process of improving or making changes to a home. This typically involves projects that make fundamental changes to the home’s interior and/or exterior. Though the term is similar to and often confused with renovation, the two are not the same. The fundamental difference is how far the changes go renovation usually entails improvement to an existing structure that are only cosmetic. On the other hand, home improvement involves changes to the structure through construction and demolition.

Renovation of a bathroom for instance, might involve changing the tile design and painting or even replacing the existing shower, sink, and toilet but leaving the electrical and plumbing systems in their original locations. In contrast, the same project the same project would be categorised as a home remodelling or improvement project if perhaps the pipes were repositioned to make space for a dryer or washer. For houses that feel little old, a renovation can create a fresh new look. A remodel would only be preferred in situations where it is necessary to improve a home’s functionality by demolishing a wall to create more living space or constructing a partition to create a nursery.

Home owners can hire an experienced home repair expert or handyman for most renovation projects. Home improvement, in contrast, is much more complicated and requires specialised skill and experience. Digging out a basement, converting a house to an open floor plan, and home additions are best left to a capable design build remodelling company. The home owner should have a clear agreement with the general contractor. Guidance from a professional architect is also required to make certain that the modifications made to the structure leave it stable.

What to look out for

Clients should take care to avoid companies that will do poor quality work as this will may cause problems in the future. Such companies are usually unlicensed and offer abnormal discounts and guarantees. Though this may be the case, there are some unlicensed companies that have membership in an established association or have been endorsed by a professional group. This should be adequate proof of legitimacy. Home owners should perform checks such as verification of license and insurance. Business references should also be checked before the contractor is hired for a project.

Generally speaking, renovations are much cheaper because only cosmetic modifications are made. Minor cosmetic work can be done quickly and at little expense. Renovations are less risky than in comparison because the costs of labour and materials are easier to estimate considering the fact that the parameters are limited. The major changes involved in a remodel are much more expensive. Furthermore, it is often necessary to obtain permits which may cost between 500 and 1000 USD. The actual cost may be greater, depending on the scope of the project. It should also be noted that most contractors do not include the prices of items such as paint, appliances and flooring as they focus on the structural elements.

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