How to Guarantee Home Improvement Success and Minimize Risk

Posted May 10th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

If you’re thinking about making some changes around the house, you want it to go well. You want to make sure your investment is worthwhile. You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time and your money. You want to do things that will increase the home value, not things that will run the risk of having to file a homeowners insurance claim.

So, what can you do to make sure things go well? There are several key steps you can make in order to help protect yourself:

  • Talk to your homeowners insurance agent. When you do a major renovation, you’re putting your home at risk financially as well as physically. You pose the risk of materials theft, exposure to the elements and even insecure doors and windows during the process, depending on what kinds of changes you’re making. You may need to add a rider during construction to protect your home if anything is stolen or explodes.
  • Use a licensed and insured contractor. Don’t work with just anyone. Using an insured contractor means that you’re not going to be liable, in most cases, if a worker is injured while working on your home improvements.
  • Get the right permits. Some home improvement jobs will require a building permit. This is especially true for jobs that chance the structure of your house. That means all of the work has to be up to local and state building codes. Contact your local government offices to find out whether you need one or not.
  • Have a realistic estimate of the value of the improvements. When you come out the other side, you want to be sure that you’re covered for the full value of the home as it stands. That means, in many cases, getting an appraisal of the property after the work is complete.
  • Don’t always do it yourself. You run greater risks when you do it yourself. The greatest risk, of course, is that things won’t turn out right because you’re not a professional. Yes, there are plenty of home improvement tasks you can handle, but make sure to hand the ones you can’t off to someone who can.

Photo via eye of einstein

Categories: Advice

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