Lockdowns and shelter in place orders during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led Americans to tackle do-it-yourself home improvement projects like never before.
Although these DIY projects may have improved homes, some damaged relationships. In fact, most people that attempted or completed a DIY home improvement project during the pandemic say they won’t try it again.
To take the stress out of your home improvement projects, Window World has a new consumer education campaign called “7 Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Hell.”
Window World, America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, recently released the results of a survey that asked 400 American homeowners who tackled DIY home improvement projects last year. The survey found that:
Relationships aren’t the only thing that was hurt.
While it’s tempting to try a home improvement project on your own, we frequently get calls from homeowners who aren’t happy with the results of their DIY project.
1. Find a great contractor by asking friends and family for recommendations. You can also ask The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of members in your area.
2. Interview contractors by phone and then in person. You should specifically ask for the length of time they’ve worked with their subcontractors and a list of previous clients. Check their online reviews, as well.
3. Fact-find by calling former clients and visiting job sites. If you would like to investigate complaints, call your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau.
4. Make plans and get bids, comparing the costs for labor, materials, and expenses. (Materials typically make up 40% of the total cost, while the rest covers overhead and the profit margin — usually 15% to 20%.)
5. Don’t make your choice based on price. While your budget should impact your decision, it’s important that you’re comfortable with the person and feel confident in their abilities.
6. Set a payment schedule in advance. Before signing any contracts, make sure your contractor offers a payment plan that works for you.
7. Get it right in writing. Create a contract for every step of the project and be sure to get proof of liability insurance, your payment schedule, workers’ compensation payments, a start and projected completion date, specific materials and products used, and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.
Spending a little time planning before you start a home improvement project can save you significant money, time, and stress later!
This online survey was done by a third party and commissioned by Window World. Survey participants (233 women, 167 men) have no affiliation with Window World.
Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 19 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $12 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization.