The HGTV pros are showing us how renos are done.
HGTV power couple Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson know the ins and outs of successful home renovations. As the stars of the network's Married to Real Estate, the duo show every day homeowners ways to take their digs from average to stunning through various projects and flips.
As we gear up for season two—airing January 12, 2023, at 9pm ET—EBONY spoke with Sherrod and Jackson to gain a better understanding on the proper approach to home renovations this year and beyond. From insurance insight to the projects that should always be left to the pros, here's what you should know before you start your latest project.
Is the renovation a want or a need?
When thinking about home reno projects, Sherrod and Jackson emphasize first determining if the makeover is a want versus a need. Taking on remodels can be overwhelming, so to mitigate your stress level, you'll want to have a concrete idea on the full scope of your plans as well as your end goal as far as potentially adding value to your home. Ask yourself, are you renovating for value or for quality of life for yourself?
"When you renovate, it is a big process. There's a big difference between needs and wants. If your home is in need of a new roof or systems, those are needs and should be primary. You may want a second bath, that is also a priority because it helps the home function and adds value," shares Sherrod. "When it comes to wants, if you just want a new kitchen or an updated fireplace, seek out a fair market analysis from a real estate agent to determine the true value of your home so you are renovating according to the value of your home."
Leave electrical, plumbing and structural projects to the pros
The last thing you want to do is hit a beam, create a tear in your pipes or even short a circuit. It can cost you thousands of dollars to fix, on top of the potential safety risks involved. The HGTV duo suggest always calling in an expert to handle things in these three categories.
"When it comes to structural, most people don't understand what load bearing beams are or what's holding the home together. Months down the road, you start hearing random creaking and you can't figure out why. You've likely affected your home's structure," explains Jackson. "But, when it comes to new paint, adding an accent wall, or updating cabinets or knobs, you can definitely take those on as DIY projects, if that's what you're interested in doing."
Get a minimum of 3 quotes from contractors
You'll save money or spend money depending on the contractor you ultimately choose. And, before you decide on one, make sure you've thought out the entire spectrum of work that you are looking to do.
"Get a minimum of three quotes from licensed contractors," says Sherrod. "Go through everything with a fine tooth comb and make sure labor and materials are included. Ensure the costs of demolition and clean-up are also included, that will save you lots of money if you make sure it's done the first time."
According to Jackson, it can add even add more to your budget if a new contractor has to come in later and clean things up. So, it's better to be over prepared.
Make sure your contractor is properly insured
Those new to home renovations may not consider the fact that your general contractor—and ultimately any subs—should be insured before beginning work on your home. If not, you as the owner may be liable for not only any damage they may cause, but you're also on the hook for the subcontractors if their boss fails to pay them for their time on the project.
"This happens a lot in the business. People think, 'oh, I paid my contractor and things are closed out.' But, if the GC doesn't pay his tradesmen, they can go and put a lien on your home for those payments," Sherrod says. "Before you close out, make sure you have all the workers involved sign lien waivers so that you can't be held liable in the end."
Don't be afraid to use refurbished items for DIY projects
For your smaller DIY interests, Jackson says don't be afraid to peruse places like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or surplus stores. "These places have a lot of things—often for free or cheap—that you can repurpose in a creative way in your home," he explains. "This will also help you save some money on your makeover projects."