*collaborative guest post
Starting a DIY project or hiring a contractor to do a ton of work for you is always a little daunting, even if you’re a home improvement pro. Let’s face it, even if you feel that way, mistakes happen and your wishes for an amazing new space can start to feel like pipe dreams.
Whenever you’re making a big change in your life, times can get tough and you may want to simply give up, or compromise on something that was important to you. How can you stay positive in uncertain times, when dust is flying, drills are blaring and all you want is your old home back?
Here are some tips for conquering dark times in the run up to, during and even following your home improvement journey. You will probably not face all of the problems mentioned here, but it’s good to be aware of them so you aren’t unpleasantly surprised!
Hire the right person
Big home improvement projects like getting a kitchen extension are costly and time-consuming. You know you’ll be navigating construction zones for a little while, and you’ll probably have people coming in to help you out. Don’t you want to ensure you’re getting help from someone you truly trust?
This is easier said than done. These days, finding a trustworthy contractor can seem like looking for a diamond in the rough. There’s a ton of information out there that can take a while to sift through and come to your own conclusions. We recommend you do as much online research as you can including for tools as some drills are blaring.
When looking for a contractor, compare all of the reviews you can find online. This can be on social media, forums, their own website or Google itself. If possible, talk to someone you know and trust who has worked with them. Personal recommendations are always more trustworthy than online reviews.
Have a long talk with all of the people you’re considering for the job. Try not to be pressured by sales techniques, and take all of the time you need. This is essential to making sure you hire the right person for the job.
Gather all the information
I know, it sounds like a bit of a hassle. But wouldn’t you rather pay £5,000 for double glazing now than, say, forking out £2,000 now but having to spend an additional £4,000 for repairs and replacements because you got bad information or advice in the first place?
Do lots of research into the company or contractor you’re thinking of hiring and into the exact job you’re asking them to do. This can be done online, in books or by asking a trusted friend or relative.
If possible, ask around to see if you can talk to a friend of a friend in the industry. You want to talk to someone who doesn’t have any skin in the game, to get truly impartial advice about what would work best for you in your exact situation.
Being extremely well-informed will not only set you apart from the grand majority of people your contractor will deal with on a daily basis, but will also stand you in good stead to ask the right questions. This is essential. Being well-prepared both physically and mentally means having all the right information at your fingertips!
Expect the best but prepare for the worst
Being well-prepared also means preparing your mind, heart and soul for the experience. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the frenzy and fun of doing a DIY project that we don’t stop to think about how it might impact us or our family.
As with all things, it helps to keep a clear mind about the outcomes and possibilities. A home improvement project can take on different forms over time, so expect to be flexible. Make sure to think positively about the outcome of the project in the hardest times and to keep focus on the long-term effects.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for any eventuality. Consider the potential mishaps (like children tripping over wires or touching things they aren’t supposed to) and make sure to put barriers in place to avoid dangerous or damaging situations. Your contractor should be able to help you with risk management, so maintaining a good relationship with them is essential.
So whether you’re looking for new windows or planning on renovating your loft, you’ll want to look online for prices, info and reviews. Talk to friends, prepare yourself and you’ll be fine! Keep a positive and realistic attitude where possible.