From Brittany on December 29th, 2011 in General Remodel
A home improvement master, T.V. host and book author, Mike Holmes is dedicated to ensuring that home remodels everywhere are completed safely, professionally and correctly. Each week on his HGTV show “Holmes on Homes,” Holmes and his crew visit a home to inspect and repair renovations botched by a previous contractor.
Holmes has two goals: first, to expose shoddy practices in the remodeling industry, and second, to teach homeowners how to make wiser home improvement decisions. His philosophy is that renovation work should be done right the first time. With a focus hiring the right contractor for the right renovations, here are seven ways to remodel like Mike.
1. Do It Right the First Time
To ensure that a renovation is performed correctly, Holmes stresses that homeowners must do their share of homework, too. This can start with getting recommendations for contractors, either from friends, colleagues and family or from industry organizations like CalFinder.
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2. Protect Your Investment
For many people, the home is their largest investment and as such, deserves protection. Mike Holmes encourages homeowners to consider projects that will increase the value of their homes. This means tackling projects that, if left undone, will undermine the home’s value. Taking care of basics, such as improving and maintaining insulation, air conditioning and heating, electrical wiring, and plumbing systems, may not be as sexy as installing granite countertops, but is one of the best ways to ensure that the home retains its value.
3. Choose Home Improvements Wisely
In today’s economy, choosing remodels that will raise the resale value of a home is a practical idea, but Holmes discourages homeowners from choosing projects solely for that purpose. Fortunately, there are a number of projects that can boost a home’s resale value and that can enhance the family’s life at home as well, such as kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling projects.
4. Choose Green
Holmes is a strong advocate for sustainable building practices, encouraging homeowners to investigate ways to go green with remodeling. The best green practices use sustainable, non-toxic and recyclable materials, produced locally. But Holmes is quick to point out that there are varying “shades of green.” Homeowners can contribute to green practices by finishing off a renovation with natural-fiber textiles, low-VOC paints and energy-efficient appliances.
5. Check References
It’s not only important to check references, but if possible, to visit several completed renovations as well. A reputable contractor will have a list of references at the ready.
6. Get Their Credentials
Contractors must not only have the correct license on hand for the particular renovation, but should have valid insurance as well. Contractors who don’t typically have insurance can obtain temporary insurance.
7. Review Terms
It’s clear to most people that checking the terms of payment of a contract is essential, but there are other terms to consider, too. Establishing when workers will be allowed to be on the property for work and asking that the work area is cleaned up at the end of each work shift are two examples.
Photos courtesy of HGTV