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Top Home Improvement Tips

Whether you’ve bought a brand new home, a condo, or a fixer-upper, being a home owner brings out your inner Bob Vila from time to time! All of those commercials from Menards and Home Depot make the average man on the street say to himself “I think I can, I think I can.”

In many cases that’s true. By asking the right questions, studying your dream project, and planning ahead you can sometimes do the job well and save yourself money at the same time. Just remember that if you get in over your head, NL&B Construction is available to get your project back on track and carry it to completion.

Here are some valuable tips to consider when working to improve your home.

Make Improvement that Adds Value to Your Home

Some improvements are proven to increase the value of you home than others. For example, upgrading your kitchen, or renovating your master bath will bring more value to your home than carpeting, installing expensive chandeliers, or dumping a lot of money into your garage. Remember that your personal taste or lifestyle may little or no value to a prospective home buyer. The extra money you spend on a nice kitchen counter top will probably come back to you, but that customized bar you’ve built in your garage probably won’t pay for itself when you sell your house someday. NL&B Construction specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Handle Urgent Projects in a Timely Manner

If your home is energy inefficient, you are literally leaking money out through the windows and cracks in the walls. See our post on how to save money and energy in the winter months HERE.

DIY or Not?

You may have a bunch of tools and the willingness to make your own repairs and do your own renovations, but do you have the time and the expertise necessary to do them properly. Nothing says do-it-yourself more than shoddy workmanship shown in crooked tiles, improperly mitered joints, or poorly done drywall. It is wise to recognize your limits in the skill department and farm out the big jobs to the professionals. In the long run it may well save you money to hire a pro, and in the case of electricity, it may save your life.

Repair Projects You Can Do Yourself

Simple plumbing repairs such as replacing a faucet or unclogging a drain are ways of doing it yourself and saving a little cash. Minor holes and dents to drywall can be fixed with minimal skills and materials; lean on the sales people at your local Menard’s for help and advice. Things as simple as a timely tightening of screws in door hinges, drawer pulls, and window cranks will keep your house from falling apart and do not require a professional. Provided you’re comfortable around electricity, you can also change out broken wall switches and outlets too. If you get stuck give us a call and we’ll finish the job for you.

Research Before Contacting a Contractor

You can save time and money by collecting pictures from the internet or sources such as Pinterest of home improvement ideas. If you have a clear idea of what you want done and what you’d like it to look like upon completion, your contractor will be able to get the job done faster and right the first time. Changing up a project after it has begun will always cost you more money, so do your research and have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish before contacting us.

Have a Basic Tool Kit at Home

You needn’t have a garage full of tools with a fancy custom built workbench to keep your house in good repair. But you do need to have the basics. This list is by no means complete, but will be good enough for many minor fix-it jobs around the house:

Screwdriver set Claw Hammer Pliers Set Adjustable Wrench
Tape Measure Level Utility Knife Flashlight
Electric Drill Hacksaw Stud finder Allen Wrenches
Pipe Wrench Putty Knife Crowbar Staple Gun

And Last But Not Least…Find a Good Contractor

You’re already paging through our website, so we’d like to think you’re on the right track already! Nonetheless, when hiring a contractor is wise to ask around about them, learn about their work, are they reputable, etc. Here’s a good checklist to consult when interviewing contractors:

  1. Get recommendations from friends and neighbors, even from the service desk at Menards or Home Depot.
  2. Check the Better Business Bureau or social media for complaints about the contractor.
  3. Find out if they have the right licenses to do the job right.
  4. Ask about their insurance. They should be bonded for your protection.
  5. Meet with them at your home and talk about the project. Let your spidy sense and your common sense evaluate them and see if you are still comfortable with them. After all, they will be working inside of your home.
  6. Get quotes in advance, and be specific about how additional costs will be communicated and paid for.
  7. Ask for references from the contractor, and then check them out.
  8. Finally, get a firm commitment as to how long the project will take, and do not pay for the job upfront. Typically, contractors will require a down payment upfront to cover materials, with final payment(s) to be negotiated.

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