Spring has finally sprung here in Albany, and we can finally put away the snowblowers and ski jackets. As the snow melts and the days get longer, many homeowners are eager to take advantage of the weather to tackle the list of "projects" around the house.
The scope and scale of these DIY projects can range dramatically depending on the skill, experience and most importantly, the eagerness of the homeowner. Regardless of your project's scope, here are some catch all tips for taking on your spring projects!
1. Make Sure Everything Is Off Before You Start Any Work
Much like a contractor will have "lock out" procedures before they start work on electrical panels, fixtures or appliances, you should do the same before you work on your own home. If you are replacing that old ceiling fan, make sure you locate the breaker switch associated with that light and turn it off before starting. Make sure you re-test the circuit or fixture to confirm it is no longer powered before you start any work. It may seem simple. But touching the wrong exposed wire could result in a trip to the ER or even start a fire.
2. Check The Weather
Thinking of replacing a window or putting in a new front door? Make sure you are allowing yourself enough time of clear sky to complete the project. A quick flash thunderstorm with high winds could bring unwanted rain water into your home — causing damage to flooring, furniture and appliances.
3. Call Before You Dig
Before starting any outdoor work that requires any deep digging, be sure you contact the proper utilities and/or underground service providers and have marked where any wires and piping are located. Not taking the time to do so could result in major damage, as well as fines and penalties from the municipality or utility company.
4. Let Your Agent Know
Your insurance agent is not the tax man! The goal is not to find a way to charge you more premium. The goal is to make sure the home is insured properly and accurately. Renovations like installing a new roof or furnace could dramatically lower insurance premiums. Completing an unfinished basement or updating the kitchen to high-end finishes and appliances could leave the home underinsured, leaving a gap in coverage.
We wish all the best of luck and applaud the DIY spirit when it comes to home ownership. At the Ten Eyck Group, we are here to provide the resources to help make sure these projects go safely and help your insurance policy grow with you!