DesignsHow To & Tips

10 Questions to Ask Experts Before You Agree to Renovate Your Home

Perhaps your husband or wife wants to renovate your house. Or, maybe you are already interviewing contractors because updating your home is your passion.  Before you even start the process, you need to ask these ten questions about your home and the renovation process.  The answers could affect your budget, timeline, and more. To avoid costly mistakes by addressing these matters first.

1 Are There Hidden Plumbing Problems?

Before you agree to renovations, you need to review all of the plumbing in your home. The last thing you want to do is allow a contractor to start work and then find out that you have a massive leak under your home. You are looking for evidence of sewer problems, water flow problems, and water leaks.  Any of these could end up costing you thousands and stall your renovations, costing you more time and money.

plumbing services
Before you agree to renovations, you need to review all of the plumbing in your home.

2 How Modern is My Electric System?

If you start a renovation and then discover that your electric system is old-fashioned, the cost of your renovation could skyrocket. You need to know how modern your design is and if it can make any additions. Sometimes an additional fuse box is required to handle a new load. It is a good idea to get an independent person, probably an electrician, to help you decide this. It isn’t in a contractor’s interest to warn you that a project may be much more costly than you thought.

electrician services
It is a good idea to get an independent person, probably an electrician, to help you decide this.

3 Is My Foundation Slipping?

A home inspector, the type who reviews homes for sale, maybe the most independent voice you can get when it comes to whether or not your foundation is a problem.  They should have the ability to determine whether your house is on solid ground or not, quite literally. Again, a contractor may notice a problem, but they won’t call it to your attention until it interferes with their work. You don’t want to renovate if your home’s foundation needs repair.

Foundation Slipping
A contractor may notice a problem, but they won’t call it to your attention until it interferes with their work.

4 How Much Longer Until I Need a New Roof?

If you have an old roof, this may be a problem waiting to happen.  If you spend your money to renovate, you may not have the money you need if the original roof starts leaking.  Once again, a home inspector might be your best bet for finding out if you have any doubts.

roof leak
If you spend your money to renovate, you may not have the money you need if the original roof starts leaking.

5 Is Asbestos in My House?

Asbestos was once in so many home products that it was sure to be in any old house.  Newer houses shouldn’t have it, but it is worth it to know for sure if your home dates back to the 1980s or earlier.  It can be walls, ceilings, floors, and insulation.  If your contractor starts a renovation and discovers the deadly substance, work will halt, experts will need to be brought in, and your budget just got busted.

Asbestos
It can be walls, ceilings, floors, and insulation.

6 Is Black Mold in My House?

Black mold threatens a person’s health.  So, before you agree to renovate, you should check every area where water could have been or might be present.  This includes the laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, basement, garage, and mudroom. It also includes the attic and any place where a roof might have leaked.  You want to identify the problem and correct it before you agree to costly, strictly cosmetic renovations.

black mold
Black mold threatens a person’s health.

7 Is a Floor Rotting?

The subfloor in a floor where water is used, such as the bathroom or kitchen, is susceptible to rotting. It often goes undetected until the floor gives way in part.  A home inspector can check for this.  If you are replacing the floor anyway, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if the floor needs replacement and you haven’t included it in your budget, now you know.

Floor Rotting
If you are replacing the floor anyway, then you have nothing to worry about.

8 How Will Run-off Be Controlled?

If you already have had trouble with run-off, and you don’t get answers, you will have even more problems after your renovation is over.  To meet the challenge upfront and discuss flooding issues with your contractor.  You may need special French drains to ensure that the water is diverted to a safe place away from the house.

run-off
You may need special French drains to ensure that the water is diverted to a safe place away from the house.

9 What Will Happen to My Yard?

Your yard should be your next concern after these items have been eliminated.  Talk to your contractor about your trees.  Will they be in the way?   Will trees or bushes be removed to allow space to do the renovations?  How will the yard be damaged? It would help if you got everything in writing. By the way, a good contractor will use construction crane mats to protect your yard from the deep rutting made by trucks and heavy machinery.

mat construction
A good contractor will use construction crane mats to protect your yard from the deep rutting made by trucks and heavy machinery.

10 What Will Happen to Furnishings and Other Important Items?

When your home is under renovation, you could discover the hard way that dust is flying and getting into air vents, carpets, soft furnishings, and clothes.  To avoid this, you need a firm commitment from your contractor.  If you can’t be sure that everything will be protected, consider draping heavy furniture and moving anything you can to a storage unit.

home renovation
If you can’t be sure that everything will be protected, consider draping heavy furniture and moving anything you can to a storage unit.
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