Friday, April 23, 2021

Happy Home: Overlooked Home Improvement Projects

 Spring is a time for home improvement.  When people think of home improvements, it usually a kitchen or bath update or landscaping.  Yet while these are the most obvious, there are actually 5 home improvement projects that most people never consider that they should. Matt DiBara is a leading home improvement expert known as ‘the Undercover Contractor’ which is also the title of his upcoming book.

I had a chance to interview him to learn about home improvement.

Tell me how did you become known as the Undercover Contractor?

I’ve talked about this in my podcast. So basically the summary is that I’ve been doing this for friends and family, I would go and help them in situations where they were getting screwed and I would come in as the friend/the cousin/the neighbour, or whatever, the son, and help them in the meetings and negotiate it, and also behind the scenes so they would show me the quotes and give me the information and that’s how I became The Undercover Contractor.

What is your upcoming book about?

The upcoming book is about how not to get screwed by your contractor, avoiding contractor scams. Ways on which you can save tens of thousands of dollars. And it outlines my confident homeowners system which is how to find, vet and manage contractors.

What are the 5 most overlooked home improvement projects?

There’s a lot of focus and emphasis on projects that improve the home, like pergolas, patios, awnings, renovations of landscaping, refined outdoor areas. There’s a lot of focus and emphasis on those things and the reason for that is that contractors make a lot of money to get high-profit jobs but what’s most often overlooked is the general maintenance, the minor home improvements: putting a new coat of paint in your house; treating your windows; getting your AC or heating unit if you have central air, checked and cleaning the filters. Those are the things that are not so fun and sexy because they don’t make a ton of money, to be honest. And that answers the next question of “Why are they so important for families to complete?”, because it saves them money.

Why are they so often overlooked?

The money is not in the maintenance! When you think maintenance, think money! When you properly maintain wood, for example, exterior wood or stucco you prevent moisture penetration, dry rot and mould. If there’s minor cracking in the concrete or if your irrigation system doesn’t work properly, it could cause your plants to die. Or over watering could cause things to settle. Wood and fences with stains and paint. Maintenance is really where homeowners fall short, unintentionally.

Why are they so important for families to complete?

Because it saves them money. The money is in the maintenance.

If people don't have a lot of wiggle room in their budget, how can they make sure to maximize their home improvement dollars?

Though my system. The Confident Homeowners System: How to find, vet, hire and manage, because you don’t have the budget like most homeowners to do things twice. So you’ve got to do it once, make sure it's the right contractor with the right communication, and you’re done! That would be the way to do it.  

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