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What Homeowners Need to Know About Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects offer a canvas for your creativity and the promise of enhancing your living space and increasing your property value. But before you start knocking down walls or picking out tiles, read our roundup sharing what homeowners need to know about home improvement projects. We’ll explore some of the potential obstacles and share strategies that can shape the success of your next home improvement venture.

Home improvement challenges

Home improvement projects can be full of surprises, and there are several challenges you might not anticipate. Being aware of the potential pitfalls can help you better prepare and navigate through them.

The main headaches you might encounter include:

  • Budget overruns due to changes in project scope, unforeseen problems, or material price fluctuations
  • Permit delays slowing the start or progress of your project
  • Disruption to daily life from the renovation work
  • Material shortages or delays in supply chains negatively impacting the project
  • Difficulty booking good contractors as they’re in high demand
  • Poor communication with contractors or suppliers leading to misunderstandings, delays, and unsatisfactory outcomes
  • Weather conditions impacting outdoor projects and causing delays
  • Failure to comply with local building codes, zoning regulations, or homeowners association rules leading to legal issues and fines.

Another challenge to consider with home improvements? You’re a unique individual. You may think that adding that custom skylight will increase your property value. But a stained glass peacock in the ceiling may not actually have broad appeal. Keep in mind that overly personalized or unconventional renovations might not suit potential buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.

It’s also important to prepare for the potential emotional stress of home improvement projects. The process can be emotionally taxing, especially when unexpected challenges arise. Managing stress and maintaining a positive outlook is crucial.

Best practices for home improvement projects

Home improvements can be exciting and rewarding, but they also require careful planning, budgeting, and decision-making. Taking proactive steps to make your home improvement journey a success can help you navigate your project with greater confidence.

Set clear goals

Start by defining your goals for the project. Are you looking to increase your home’s value, enhance its functionality, or improve its aesthetics? Having clear goals will guide your decisions throughout the project.


Also, do your research before beginning any project. Understanding the scope of work, required permits, and potential challenges helps you make informed decisions.


Plus, the better you research and plan, the less likely you are to suffer scope creep. Making major changes to the project once work has started can lead to delays and increased costs.

Budget wisely

Determine your budget early on and stick to it. Include not just the cost of materials and labor, but also potential unexpected expenses. It’s common for projects to go over budget, so having a contingency fund is advisable.


If your project’s budget exceeds your immediate funds, you might research financing options such as home equity loans, personal loans, or credit lines. Make sure you understand the terms and interest rates associated with each option.


When budgeting, keep in mind that investing in quality, durable materials can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacements. Also consider investing in energy-efficient materials and appliances. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they can lead to long-term savings on utility bills.

Find quality contractors

When hiring contractors, don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Get multiple quotes from contractors and suppliers to ensure you’re getting a fair price for the work and materials.


To finding a reliable and skilled contractor, you should also:

  • Ask for references from their previous clients. Contact these references to ask about their experience, the quality of work, communication, and overall satisfaction.
  • Search for online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and social media to get a broader perspective.
  • Ensure they are properly licensed and insured. Insurance is essential to protect both you and the contractor in case of accidents or damages during the project.

Check local regulations, codes

As the homeowner, you’re responsible for ensuring that the necessary permits are obtained before starting any home improvement project that requires them. This includes understanding local building codes and regulations that apply to your project.

Research and determine which permits are required for the specific work you’re planning to undertake. This can include permits for structural changes, electrical work, plumbing, additions, and more.

A reputable and experienced contractor should be able to guide you through the permitting process. You can also contact your local building department or permit office to inquire about the permits needed for your project. They can provide information about the application process, fees, and any other requirements.

Maintain open communication

Open communication between you and the contractor is essential. It helps create an environment where information flows freely, problems are addressed promptly, and everyone is invested in the project’s success.

To begin, clearly convey your expectations to ensure both you and the contractor share understanding of project scope, timeline, budget, and desired outcomes.

Challenges are inevitable during a project. But, regular updates can help prevent misunderstandings.  By keeping the lines of communication open, you may also avoid potentially expensive rework.

You’ll also need to communicate to ensure that all required permits are obtained and that the project is compliant with local laws.

Improving your new home

Home improvements are a natural and beneficial part of homeownership. No matter how much you love the house you buy, your needs and preferences may evolve.

You can save yourself some effort by working with your new home builder upfront to construct the haven you want. There’s room for your say-so when you select one of Saussy Burbank’s high quality craftsmanship homes.

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