In our previous installment of The Home Improvement Minute we were discussing the initial steps when it comes to hiring the right contractor for your home improvement project. When we left off, I had mentioned the idea of setting a realistic budget. This is very important. As home improvement professionals our intention is never to tell you that something is impossible, but to find a reasonable solution within your budget.
Let’s say you are interested in having fifteen vinyl replacement windows installed in your home, but your budget may be on the lower end of the spectrum. There is nothing wrong with that, but you need to look at the options available to you, evaluate these options, and narrow down the choices with a budget friendly mindset. If you currently have aluminum windows in your home with double pane clear IG glass, virtually any new entry level, vinyl replacement window will trump these tenfold.
Sure, by shopping on a budget, you’re more than likely not going to be able to get all the bells and whistles, such as interior wood grain or muntin’s, for your windows. On the flipside, though, by adding double pane glass with low-e and argon gas, you are enabling yourself to receive a product that may increase your energy savings up to 25 percent per year. By focusing on energy efficiency, which in my opinion is one of the key factors in any home improvement decision, you are now focusing more on your needs instead of your wants. And by doing so you are still increasing your homes appearance and energy efficiency, while also putting money back in your pocket book.
Once your budget has been set and you have narrowed down your choice of professional contractors, it’s time to begin researching the products. There are many manufacturers and grades of products available to us, but something to keep in mind is that many of the products that you see at big box stores are generally lower grade or entry level products. A great example of this is vinyl siding. Here at Thrush & Son, we prefer to install Mastic Quest vinyl siding systems. This product has a .046 thickness, with a 240 MPH wind warranty and includes a transferable lifetime warranty. A vinyl siding product located at a box store may only have a thickness of .040 or .038 and include a limited lifetime warranty. To some, both products may appear the same, but they are miles apart in performance and this is why it is best to research the products and understand what you may be having installed at your home.
You work hard for your money and you want what you deserve and you deserve what you want. That’s why I cannot emphasize these steps enough when it comes to one of the largest investments that you will ever make. A home improvement is not just an impulse decision. That is why true professional contractors are here to help guide and direct you through this process. On the next installment of The Home Improvement Minute we will discuss the days leading up to install and what to expect during. Until next time my friends, keep improving!