Whether you are renovating your existing home or purchasing a new one, there are many ways to improve the space and make it more comfortable for you. Often, these upgrades can increase the value of your property and help you live a better lifestyle.
Choosing the Right Project
Depending on your goals, home improvement can include everything from a minor upgrade to a complete remodel. The first step is to determine what you want to do and how much it will cost. Once you have a plan, it will be easier to find the right contractors and get the work done quickly and effectively.
In addition, a home improvement plan should pay for itself in the long run, increasing the value of your home and contributing to your overall quality of life. This is especially important for large-scale projects or renovations, which will likely require financing.
Home improvement can also be a way to reduce energy costs. For example, installing a solar panel can cut your electricity bill significantly. In addition, upgrading your windows and doors can be a great way to make your home more energy-efficient and save you money on heating and cooling bills.
Some homeowners choose to hire contractors for their home improvement needs, while others prefer to do the work themselves. In either case, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities before hiring a contractor.
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission offers legal protection from unscrupulous contractors who violate the home improvement law and charge too much or don’t perform work according to the contract. A homeowner who is defrauded by a contractor may be entitled to damages of up to $20,000 per claim.
Licensed Contractors are required to have liability insurance and to be bonded, according to the Maryland State Building Commission. They must also comply with the requirements of the State Construction Code and Maryland’s Home Improvement Contract Law.
A licensed contractor is obligated to use quality materials and labor when working on your home, and must abide by your budget and the terms of your contract. You can also file a complaint against a licensed contractor with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office if you are unhappy with the work.
Before hiring a contractor, it is important to check references and get multiple quotes. Having a detailed list of the work you want done will make it easy to negotiate with different contractors and lock in firm prices.
It is also important to read all contracts carefully before signing. Be sure to get a written contract that includes the details of the work to be performed, as well as any warranties and payment terms.
The contract should specify the date that work will be completed, as well as any special requirements such as permits or inspections needed for the project. It should also list all parties involved in the work.
During the pandemic, many owners have opted to undertake home maintenance and improvement projects themselves. These projects accommodate their newfound time at home, and can be particularly rewarding for those who are able to make progress on an item that has been on their list for a while.