7 Costly Home Improvement Don'ts

A little prep and a few precautions on your next project can save money and help you avoid having to do the job over again.
By: Jacquelyn McGilvray
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Don't Ignore Safety

This goes for any home improvement project. Simple precautions like wearing safety goggles, not overloading outlets and turning off breakers will only take a few minutes or a few extra bucks, but these steps can save you from disaster.

Don't Skip the Primer

The key to a successful paint job is always prep. A coat of primer will seal the surface, provide durability and create a solid bond for the paint to adhere. The only time primer may not be needed is when painting latex over latex and the colors have a similar intensity.

Make Sure You Get a Real Pro

If you need to hire a pro make sure they are qualified for the job. Never let anyone other than a licensed electrician repair or alter the wiring in your home. The same goes for plumbing — many states also require them to have a license or state certification.

Don't Forget Ductless HVAC Systems

Don't forget to consider an energy-efficient ductless heating and cooling system for an addition or if you're remodeling. You won't have to install or redo any duct work, which saves time and energy.

Don't Forget About the Subfloor

Laminate flooring needs an underlayment/vapor barrier for almost any surface it is being installed upon. Not only will it protect it from moisture, it will also help with soundproofing. Hardwood floors need an even subfloor, so use subfloor compound to ensure a level surface. If laying tile in a bathroom, cement backer board should be used underneath.

Make Sure to Get Necessary Building Permits

The last thing anyone wants is to spend time and effort building a beautiful deck only to find out it must be ripped up because there was no permit. Find out the rules and regulations for building permits, codes and inspections before you start any remodeling project.

Don't Get the Wrong Style Window

The wrong windows can have consequences on both the interior and exterior of the home. When choosing windows, make sure the style matches the appearance and architecture of your home's exterior. On the inside, windows will affect the light, ventilation and temperature of the home.

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