home equity

6 tips for the best home remodeling project

Speaking of safe …
Avoid a money pit | Matej Kastelic/Getty Images

Avoid a money pit

Johnny D offers five tips to keep your remodel from turning into a money pit:

  1. Hammer out a project plan. "My biggest piece of advice is, have a tight plan, meaning both architectural plan as well as plan of attack."
  2. Draw up a contract that describes the full scope of the work. "I recommend using an American Institute of Architects contract. And make sure to include a 'time is of the essence' clause. That says if your contractor doesn't meet the scheduled, he pays a penalty."
  3. Never overpay your contractor. "The beauty of the AIA contract is, you pay the contractor based on the work completed. That protects you from overpaying and keeps the job on schedule."
  4. Never do your own electrical work. "Making a mistake can cause serious consequences."
  5. Leave the drywall work to the pros. "The pros can hang 20 boards a day per person and do it right. More importantly, when it comes to taping your drywall, please don't do it yourself. It takes real talent to make your drywall nice and smooth and ready for paint."

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