Top Five Costly Mistakes Made on DIY Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

The substantial cost of Virginia additions often leads homeowners to consider DIY as a money-saving option. But many of the mistakes commonly made on DIY home additions can add to the final cost, pushing it well beyond the price of a reputable, experienced contractor. Think about how these mistakes make DIY an unwise option for home additions in Virginia.

Purchasing Cheap Materials

The temptation to purchase cheap materials looms large in DIY projects. A home addition involves many different components, and it may make sense initially to purchase products at bargain prices. Problems show up over time. When these poorly made materials wear out or fail, replacement materials cost even more money.

Weigh the initial cost savings against the future expense of replacement and repairs. Choosing to install cheap materials often costs more in the end.

Avoiding the Prep Work

As in many home renovation projects, prep work plays a vital role with home additions. DIY enthusiasts may not know about these requirements, or may simply be impatient to get to the fun stuff and skip over preparation entirely. This omission bumps up the cost of Virginia additions in several different ways, including:

  • Missed preparation often results in a poor finish, which may need to be redone or repaired for an additional cost
  • Missed preparation may mean that important structural or foundational elements were also missed, which must be corrected for safety and building code compliance
  • Missed preparation could result in damage to building materials and other areas of the home, again requiring costly repairs and/or replacement.

Ripping Out More Than Necessary

Home additions require a certain amount of tear down. Industry experts and experienced contractors understand how much to rip out and what components to leave as is in order to properly build the home addition. Many DIY fans find the tear down portion of the project easy and rewarding, and they may end up tearing down much more than anticipated and even required.

Ripping out walls, structure, electrical and/or mechanical components that could have stayed in obviously adds to the overall cost. Proper planning and a detailed design help to limit demolition, but there’s always a risk that inexperienced DIY workers will get overly enthusiastic with a crow bar, jack hammer or other demolition tool.

Misunderstanding the Scope of This Project

Virginia additions take a long period of time and require an immense amount of work. For those DIY fans that haven’t tackled a project of this size, building a home addition seems overwhelming. Misunderstanding the scope leads to unrealistic schedules, costly delays and poor decisions.

A Virginia family completing a DIY home addition may plan to hire out for the electrical and mechanical components. But when they get behind on framing and need to delay these contractors, they risk alienating the contractors and needing to hire another one. Getting a grip on the scope of the project helps to avoid these and many other potential added costs.

Focusing on the Latest Trend

Designing to the current trends makes homeowners happy for the moment. It may not cost anymore to install trend-setting flooring and fixtures, but those costs will sky rocket when you need to spend the money to renovate in a few years.

Choose neutral colors, shapes and forms for the main design elements, and bring those trends in with accessories. These are much easier to change out and cost less over time to adjust.

You may be considering DIY Virginia additions. Before you assume that DIY saves big money, consider these common mistakes and gather a few quotations from experts in the industry. What you come up will surprise you.

How Water Issues Destroy Your Virginia Basement Renovation Dreams

Filed Under: Basement    by: Steve Kayhill

Renovating your Virginia basement adds valuable living space and comfort to your home. Water issues can quickly devalue the investment and create various health problems now and far into the future. Homeowners need to assess the condition of their basement and attend to any moisture damage before renovations begin.

What type of things should you look for? And how much will you need to invest in order to get your basement ready for the finishing steps?

Signs of Water Issues

You may already be aware of moisture problems in your lower level. Standing water, excessive condensation, mold or mildew marks and musty odors all point to water issues. But a thorough inspection also involves forgotten areas of the basement, such as:

  • Window Sills – Water often runs around or under decayed or broken window sills, possibly even soaking into the wood. Be sure to check the seals around your windows, as well as the locking mechanisms. Plan to replace any rotted building materials or damaged portions of the window.
  • Pipes and Plumbing – Un-insulated pipes create condensation, which can quickly build up and cause water issues. Have a look at the existing condition of your pipes and note any rust or other signs of moisture. Consider insulating all the pipes during your Virginia basement renovation. Check plumbing fixtures for leaks and wear. Many times you can detect the problem early and avoid a major leak or plumbing issue.
  • Behind Insulation – Is your basement insulated or partially finished? Moisture collects between fiberglass or rigid insulation and concrete foundation walls. Your basement renovation plans should include replacing any wet insulation and putting up the proper moisture protection, such as a vapor barrier.
  • Exterior Grading – Assess the grading around your home to ensure that the ground slopes away from the foundation. Standing water, soggy ground and previous basement flooding indicate a possible grading problem. Hire a landscape company to regrade the property and consider investing in a basement waterproofing system to further protect your living space.
  • Foundation Walls and Floor – Look for cracks or crumbling in the concrete. Even if you do not detect any evidence of water, these gaps allow for the passage of moisture. Use crack filler products and sealers or consider an interior waterproofing system that covers the concrete.

How Much Does It Cost to Protect Your Basement From Water Damage?

Depending on the work required, these steps of preparation may cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. Insulating the pipes and replacing a window sill are fairly inexpensive, while you can expect to pay big dollars to install a basement waterproofing system and correct a grading issue. It is important to remember that these repairs and replacements protect your basement renovation investment.

Moisture damage results in significant expenses. It can also change the atmosphere in your basement, making it less comfortable for living. Investing in the repairs mentioned above allows you to realize your Virginia basement renovation dreams. Remember to fully assess the basement before construction begins and attend to any problems right away. The final result is worth the extra effort.