Of the multitude of decisions associated with major home improvement projects, and the satisfying experience of calling all the shots, none are quite so delicate as those which require a determination on when to hire a contractor to avoid hidden disasters sometime lurking behind the most innocent looking walls and ceilings.

Community rules for the homeowner/builder

While resident owners are not required to hire contractors to make improvements on their own property, there absolutely are plenty of rules and regulations in play that can sometimes make licensed professionals an attractive money-saving option.


Rules vary by location, for example, on details as simple as when to get required permits, and while it can be an enormously rewarding experience to control every aspect of the home project you have initiated in the first place; it is not without the risk of taking yourself to task afterward for skipping necessary steps along the way.


The architecture of major home improvement projects

A fancy way of saying, planning is everything! Plans involving existing structures are seldom static, which means that from the start your plan must have a procedure for planning change throughout the entire scope of the project.

Planning strategies will usually include guidelines for when and where supply purchases will be made based on objective criteria: Reliability, will this vendor back the merchandise? Delivery distance, free or additional expense. Pickup, in the case of replacing furnaces, air conditioners and other major appliances. Liability coverage, in the case of subcontractors or helpers. Even stacked lumber and gravel can create hazards that must be considered as part of any construction project. Checking your homeowner policy and/or with your insurance agent is fundamental to any do-it-yourself home improvement. You and your home are worth the best possible protection from both injury and property protection points of view.

Scheduling and major projects


In some varied, important ways, self-directed projects require more discipline than those strictly contracted. While it’s one thing to tell yourself what to do, and quite another to make yourself do it; scheduling becomes another of the fundamentals when it involves, for example, arrival of new kitchen counter tops that can hardly be installed until at least the lower cabinets are in place. Other serious considerations — like which comes first, the new floor or the new built-in base? — are important reasons to think on a bit before acting. There may be good reasoning on either side. Be certain you know which side you are really on before you begin.

Finally, some good comparison checking and the latest in home improvement innovations can be found from the comfort of your own computer desk. Log on to the Home Improvement News and Information Center and see the latest products and materials.

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.