Expect the unexpected when embarking on home improvement projects – Daily News

on Oct27
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Whether it is for your own personal enjoyment or for increased success in selling, the minute you embark on a home improvement project, you likely have opened a Pandora’s Box.

If you select and install new counters, who provides the new sink?

And you’ll need the sink before the counters can be installed because the hole that needs to be cut in the counter must meet the precise specifications of the sink manufacturer.

And if the demo of the previous counters leaves dents, chips or dings in the cabinets, who fixes that?

Here are a few pointers to get your home improvement project over the finish line as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

Get it in writing:  Even if you are doing it yourself (DIY), make sure everything is in writing. Even if you have to write it yourself and get it approved by your handyman, contractor, electrician, spouse or plumber, write it down.

Write down what’s included and what you’ll need to provide. Understand what terms like “primed to paint” and “roughed-in” mean. Then have a plan and a budget for painting and finishing.

Look at the whole picture:  If you’ve picked out a new seamless shower enclosure, do you put it on the existing 30-year-old, four-inch white tile, or do you upgrade the shower walls and floor at the same time?

If you’re updating the kitchen with new quartz counters, what are you going to do about the backsplash?

Whether your project includes a complete gut job or one or two isolated improvements, look at how the pieces fit together and make sure the transitions are accounted for.

Cover the connections:  Pay very close attention to where your improvement project begins and ends.

This includes where the new backsplash stops at the drywall, where the new flooring meets the flooring you’re keeping. It also includes how the new disappearing sliding glass door panels fit into the walls.

Mind the grout:  Whether it’s the tile backsplash, countertops, floor, shower or tub walls, you’ll have to pick out the grout color. As trivial as it seems, the grout color can make or break the look of your project.

And make sure to specify in writing how you want the grout lines to be.

Expect the worst.

It feels like every popular home improvement reality show today includes a contractor who is there throughout the project to cover up all the imperfections, handle all the unexpected problems, and smooth the rough edges, but you may not have that luxury.

You will have to be the one to handle the problems. And the typical arsenal of solutions includes more money, more time, more materials and more expertise.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.

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