Categories
Informational

The Ultimate Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

To many, fall home maintenance is the last thing one wants to consider as the cool weather comes. Fall is a favorite season of the year for many. You have the perfect foliage, football is back and you can sit back and cozy up next to your fireplace. Before the cold days of winter come, you will want to ensure your home is all set to avoid any headaches in the winter. Follow our fall maintenance checklist and you will be all set to stay inside during the colder days.

These steps will allow your deck to service snow, rain, and hail and set you up for success in the summer months.

  1. Check-in on your Roof – rain storms from the summer and spring can be tough on your roof. Have your roof inspected before the winter months to determine what damages may have occurred. An inspection can help prevent further damage, and experts can tell you whether you need to replace or update shingles.
  2. Clean up and protect your deck – if you have a deck in your front or backyard, fall is a perfect time to ensure no water is soaking into the boards. There are a few things you can do to take care of your deck in the winter:
    1. Check for loose nails and screws.
    2. Power wash the deck. Budget Dumpster recommends doing this on a day no colder than 40 degrees.
    3. Inspect for cracks or areas that are splintering. You can fill cracks with an epoxy wood filler.
    4. Add a water-repelling stain to protect from melting ice and snow.
  3. Clean out your Gutters. Your gutters should be cleaned a few times a year. The beginning and end of fall are a great time to check them as leaves and sticks start to fall to prevent any draining issues. If you notice cracks around the edge of your roof, you may need to get your gutters replaced.
  4. Insect your fireplace. If you have a fireplace, fall and winter are when you use it the most. Clean out any dust that may have been collected from the previous months. You will want to make sure that cleaning out your chimney is on your fall home maintenance checklist as this is something that is often overlooked. Ignoring your chimney and fireplace can result in the liner being burned and house fires. Schedule a quick maintenance check with a fireplace professional.
  5. Check HVAC systems. The last thing you want on a cold day is for your furnace to break. There are a few things you should add to your fall home checklist to ensure you stay warm:
    1. Clean your unit that is outside – remove any debris around the unit and ensure nothing is broken. 
    2. Check on air filters. Before removing any ac units you will want to remove any old filters and replace them
    3. Schedule a tune-up – One of the most important things you can do to get your system ready for the winter is to schedule a tune-up with a heating and AC professional. They will be able to clean, test, and ensure everything is working properly and safely.
  6. Clean up your Yard – Get one last good lawn mow in before the cold weather hits and put away any summer furniture you don’t want to be ruined by snow and sleet. It’s a good idea to put fertilizer on your grass a week or two before the season’s first frost.
  7. Clean Space Heaters – If you use space heaters in your home you will want to make sure they are safe and working properly before you need them. You will want to inspect the cord, clean the grates and ensure you have proper ventilation if needed. These maintenance tips can help prevent house fires from improper use.
  8. Take care of your garden. If you spend a lot of time on your garden in the warmer months, you want to make sure you put a little work in before the colder months to help protect your trees and plants as winter can be a trying time for them. Protect your garden by completing the following steps in the fall:
    1. Water generously
    2. Add mulch to keep roots warm
    3. Wrap shrubs and trees in wire protection to help the structure
    4. Give TLC to newer plants – winter will be the roughest on plants you added this year.
  9. Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors – This should be on every home maintenance checklist. House fires are most common during the colder months, and smoke alarms will be your first line of defense. Carbon monoxide detectors should be checked here as well. The CDC shares that the most accidental poisonings occur in the cold months of January and December as furnaces and space heaters may produce toxic gas. Replace the batteries to ensure your family will be safe this fall and winter.
  10. Ensure you have shovels and other cold-weather equipment. We all know that once the news channels share news about the first snowstorm there will be no shovels in sight. Get your equipment early so you don’t get stuck in the snow or have to leave the house during a snowstorm.

These quick tasks can be done within a week or two and will allow you to fully enjoy the coziness of winter without having to worry about your home.

Categories
Informational

Home Renovation Horror Stories

The last thing you want when paying thousands of dollars for a home renovation is for it to not go as planned. We have compiled a list of the worst home renovation horror stories and tips on how these horror renovations could have been prevented. Have a home renovation horror story you want to share? Check out our page and send us a DM to be featured!  

Home Renovation Story 1 – ‘You Get What You Paid For’

A run-of-the-mill flipping project turned into a nightmare for a homeowner, Ross when he tried to be nice and give some extra work to his gardener. Something a lot of us most likely think of doing. 

“I wanted to put new siding on the house to give it a fresh look,” said Ross. “My yard guy asked me if he could do the job. I was pressed for time because I was going on vacation, and he gave me a super deal. I gave him the go-ahead and left him money for supplies.”

“When I got home, I found he put the new siding over the old instead of taking it down,” he said. “He also used long nails with a nail gun and damaged the electrical wires in the wall. Now half the outlets in the home don’t work. I refused to pay him and demanded he pay to fix my electrical system and redo the siding correctly.”

“He said he would, but it would cost me more than double, so I fired him,” said Ross. “The next morning, I found my truck with four tires slashed.”

How could this have been avoided?

The homeowner learned a valuable lesson from this mess of a home renovation job. 

“Never hire someone new for a job and leave them unsupervised,” he said. “Don’t hire a yard guy to do contractor’s work, and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

It may sound like a silly mistake but this mistake can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. 

It’s important to do your research when hiring contractors. Ensure the professional is vetted and read reviews. Reviews are powerful and will tell the full story of the professional you are looking to work with. Dibbs is a great way to speak with professionals and receive multiple bids for a project before you move forward with one.

Home Renovation Story 2 – ‘Took 3 Years Longer’

A remodeling project in McLean, Va.,  was supposed to take one year. Instead, it took nearly three years and cost 70 percent more than the original contract price.

“We’ve renovated many homes before and had remodeled the first floor of our home with a builder who did an excellent job,” shares the homeowner. “Unfortunately, when we hired him again to redo our upper level and add a garage and bonus room, the experience turned into an absolute nightmare that was extremely disruptive to our kids and to our lives.”

“After 20 months, the builder abandoned the project with hundreds of items left incomplete, including the floors and the heating and air conditioning system,” says Timmons the homeowner.

Sliding doors were installed upside down, sloppy paint jobs were half completed and the list goes on and on.

The pair received a bill of over $100,000 of materials and work and the renovation was still not completed. The homeowners hired to hire a home renovation rescue company to come in and do damage control after living in their basement with their children to allow the builder to do the renovations.

How could this have been avoided?

The homeowners never saw this coming. They were happy with the builder’s previous worked and enjoyed their relationship. However, when builders complete one job it is important to continue to vet them for additional work.

Homeowners often try to make it work with the current contractor. however, if that relationship is fully broken (which in this case it was) a new contractor can and should be brought in to examine the home. 

Hiring companies for larger projects that can have a supervisor on site could have saved these homeowners a lot of stress. As always, do your research when working with professionals and ensure they have a certified team to avoid wasting time and money on renovations. 

View the full story here.

Home Renovation Story 3 – ‘When the Pros Get it Wrong’

This homeowner had a simple rack installation she needed to be completed in her garage. 

“And as I initially lacked the tool and to save time (I now know this was a mistake), I booked a Garage Ceiling Rack installation service via Angi.” shared the homeowner. 

After the service pro cancelled the appointment last minute the new pro that came to complete the job left the homeowner with holes in her wall and a ceiling rack that still needed to be set up.

The pro caused the homeowner several issues:

  1. Asked for a stud finder after already drilling holes in the wall.
  2. Did not listen to the homeowner’s wants and installed a rack incorrectly. There was no space left for the additional rack.
  3. The contractor, drilled 16 extra holes.  16 extra holes. The manual of the racks stated to drill 3/16″ and 3-inch deep pilot holes.
  4. Installed the beams incorrectly causing stress to the homeowner as this installation was not safe.

Frustrated and after spending money and time with this pro, the homeowner contacted the service provider (Angi) and instead of helping to resolve the issue and preventing any additional stress to the homeowner, the provider simply gave them their money back. Needless to say, this homeowner will not be using Angi’s services again.

How could this have been avoided?

Unfortunately for Angi, this homeowner is not the first that has had issues with the pros. Next time, the homeowner will be sure to use a different platform such as Dibbs to find professionals in their area. 

With Dibbs, professionals are vetted and trusted for the services you are looking for. In addition, your information is not being sold to other vendors who may not be on the platform. 

It’s important for homeowners to do their research when working with new vendors and professionals. This will help to prevent any stress and issues on your home renovation. 

Read the full story here

Home Renovation Story 4 – What’s that on the Ceiling?

This family in Central Texas tried to save a few dollars on a bedroom paint job in their primary bedroom after buying the home.  This paint job ended up being far from a quality job. The ceiling which was painted a dark navy color (that the family did not want originally but accepted to move the renovation along) started to look a little bubbly and wet shortly after the job was completed.

“I noticed what looked almost like wet water droplets from the moisture growing on the ceiling,” shared the homeowner, “At first, we chalked it up to the Texas humidity, but after a few days, something started to feel ‘off.’

When the homeowner got to the ceiling he was easily able to scratch off the paint and could tell instantly that there was mold on the walls. This was why the ceiling was painted a dark blue color, not the color they originally wanted!

Luckily for these homeowners, the original contractor came back to remove the mold, clean the walls and re-paint the walls in the color the homeowners originally asked for. 

How could this have been avoided?

When you buy a new home it is important to ensure you have an inspector come and review the home. An inspection is a visual observation of the house and will help to identify any safety concerns, health issues, and even mechanical issues the house may have. 

But where can you even find a trusted inspector? Often times the realtor you worked with will be able to point you in the right direction but for those times when they can’t, there is Dibbs. 

Read the full story here

Categories
Industry Updates

Home Inspection: Everything You Need To Know

So, you just put an offer on your dream home and the seller accepted your terms. You are bursting with excitement and can’t wait to move in. Before moving in, and before signing any sales contracts, a home inspection is needed to determine the items that may need attention in your new home. Let’s take a look at what a home inspection is and its importance.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection occurs after an offer is presented to the seller and accepted but before any sales contracts are signed. This inspection is a visual observation of the house and will help to identify any safety concerns, health issues, and even mechanical issues the house may have. An inspector will look for things that are not functioning properly or, not up to code with the state. It is important to note that a home inspector is not looking at the cosmetic items of the home.

A home inspection is crucial as it could save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs. 

What does a home inspection look at?

Inspectors have a list of things to check in the home, their job is to find defects and there are a number of major things they look for. This includes items such as:

  • Water damage
  • Roof damage
  • Plumbing
  • Pest infestation 
  • HVAC system issues
  • Foundation or structural issues
  • Fireplace operation
  • Steps, stairways, or driveway safety

An inspection is not a pass or fail exam, and again, it is important to note that the professional is not looking at the appearance of the house. The inspection is more detailed and will usually include checklists, summaries, photographs, and notes. The most important aspect of the home inspection is the recommended repairs and replacements. This will allow you the potential homeowner to determine if you want to move forward with the purchase or, potentially negotiate with the seller due to high-cost repairs that are needed.

How to negotiate after a home inspection?

After the inspection is complete the buyer and seller can negotiate the contract that was originally present or, the buyer can decide they no longer wish to move forward with the purchase of the home. Depending on the issues that were listed in the report the buyer could request the seller to complete and pay for the necessary repairs on their end or, they can even offer a credit from the seller so that they can complete the repairs. 

A good real estate agent can help to negotiate these terms further on the buyer’s behalf. There are instances where the seller can actually walk away from the buyers’ requests so it’s important to have an experienced real estate agent in your corner to help with this. 

Hiring a Home Inspector

Typically, as the buyer, you will be the one to hire the home inspector. You will want to arrange your own inspection so you can vet the inspector yourself and ensure there is no prior relationship with the current homeowners. The typical cost of a home inspection is around $300 – $500 depending on your location and the experience of the inspector. This cost is paid for at the time of the service. 

You can find home inspectors through the Dibbs marketplace which allows you to get quotes from multiple professionals in your area. You can then interview each potential home inspector and ask about their experience, training, and expertise areas. 

We would recommend taking a look at reviews as well and if you are still not sure which direction you would like to move forward with ask for references. There is no shame in doing your due diligence as this is an important step in the home buying process. 

All in all, home inspections are crucial to keep homeowners safe and are an important part of the home buying and selling process. Set yourself up for success with a good realtor and prior knowledge of the process to help with negotiations and potentially a better sale price. 

 

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Uncategorized

10 Things to do After Buying Your First Home

You just purchased your first home in Rhode Island – congratulations! You won the bidding wars, got a great interest rate, and saved and saved for that down payment. Buying your first home is a huge deal and is something that should be celebrated. The work however is not done just yet. After securing your first home there are a few things you should do right away in order to set yourself up for success. Let’s dive right into it and review the top 10 things you should do after you purchase your first home.

1. Change the Locks and Secure Your Home

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is so so important and something that is often overlooked as it is a “smaller task.” Change your locks and the garage codes. You may even want to think of doing this before you move in to prevent the previous owners from entering your home. Typically the cost for doing this is a pretty low fee and you can usually complete this task on your own. 

Be sure to check for extra keys that may have been left by the previous owner. Check the top of doors, under mats, and even under rocks by the front door to ensure none were left.

2. Set Up Your New Address 

You definitely want to keep getting your birthday cards so be sure to share your new address with friends and family! And, your employer will need to be notified. Just send a quick email to the HR Department so they can get that updated. 

The U.S Post Office makes it very easy to set up mail forwarding and you can do so on their website. 

3. Review Home Warranties

If you purchased your home with a home warranty provided by the seller that is great! This means that you will not have to deal with a broken refrigerator, appliance, or other major issues. 

If you did not receive a home warranty with the purchase of your home shop around for one. There are so many options available that you can choose one that is tailored to your needs. This is something that should be purchased quickly to prevent any issues.

4. Clean and Paint

Before moving all your items into your new home try and get a thorough cleaning done. Check window treatments to ensure all windows are safe and check the blinds as well. Painting prior to moving any of your stuff in is always easier so if you have the option to do so, we would recommend doing that.

5. Connect Utilities 

Plan ahead on utilities to make your move seamless. Be sure to check with your local providers to determine the process and how far in advance you need to schedule a turn-on. No one wants to move boxes in the dark!

6. Learn Where Security Items are

When moving in, make sure you know where smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are located. Test carbon monoxide detectors and, replace the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around your new home to make sure they are working properly. You will also want to purchase new fire extinguishers. It is recommended to have on in your kitchen as well as on each floor of the house. 

Homelight, recommends having an emergency kit as well. Emergency kits could include items like:

  • Water
  • Matches
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit

Customize your emergency kit to fit your needs and be sure it’s placed somewhere safe and accessible. 

7. Create a Maintenance To-Do List

After purchasing your house address any issues that were shown in the inspection report that the seller was not responsible to fix. Using this report will allow you to create a quick list and take care of important items in a timely manner. Focus on issues such as dirty gutters, leaking pipes, or windows first to prevent bigger issues in the future.

8. Create a Maintenance Schedule

Items in your home will need consistent updates in order to stay safe, working properly, and clean. Take your AC unit, for example, this is something that needs to be serviced regularly in order to ensure you are getting your money’s worth. Keep a list of items that may need regular maintenance and find pros that can help you with this. 

9. Find Storage and Organize

As you unpack throw things away that you no longer need. Have a sweatshirt from your Middle School Baseball days? Chuck it, you will never use it again. Look into storage options that work best for you and your family to make the most out of your space.

10. Introduce yourself to the neighbors

Your home is finally safe, up to date, and designed how you want it! Now, the fun begins. Start introducing yourself to your neighbors and maybe even host a housewarming party.

Final Thoughts on Buying Your New Home

Buying a home is such an exciting time but just remember the work isn’t done once you get the keys. It’s a marathon, not a race and when you need help from professionals, download the Dibbs app.



Categories
Uncategorized

House Flipping & Interest Rates

House flipping can be an extremely lucrative business for those who invest the time and work into the properties correctly. On the flip side, it can also have a significant financial risk, even more so for beginners.

Most beginners who enter the house-flipping business do not have the cash at hand for the property and will need to look into other financing options. Lenders often see flipping as risky and generally won’t work with an inexperienced flipper. In addition, as interest rates in mortgages have been rising, it’s essential to do the research before jumping into a loan option to ensure you get the best rate and can make a good ROI. Let’s examine what options are available to fund your house flip

Loan Options and Interest Rates for House Flipping

  1. Hard Money Loans – These are a common type of loan used in house flipping. A hard money loan is a unique type of loan in which funds are secured by real property instead of the borrower’s creditworthiness. These are sometimes easier to qualify for as your credit is not a major factor and approval time is typically faster. The downside of hard money loans is that the interest rates may be much higher than traditional loans.
  2. Traditional Mortgage Loans – There are a few different types of traditional loans that may be worth considering. Renovation loans are there if you are planning to do renovations to the home (which if you are flipping the house you are looking to do this). There is specific criteria for this loan and if decide to live in the house after renovations you will need to convert the loan. Another common option is a cash-out refinance. 
  3. Private Lenders – This is a great option for those who already have relationships with banks. With private lenders, terms are usually a bit more flexible and you can shop around until you find an option that suits you best. With private lenders, however, interest rates may change so be sure to do your research
  4. Crowd Funding – This option allows a person to raise money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the internet. These are popular options for those in real estate because you can contribute as little as $50,000 but hidden fees are important to be aware of. 

Bottom Line

The option you choose for your first house flip will vary depending on your circumstances. What worked for others may not work best for you. Regardless of the option, you decide to move forward with always be sure to do your research before purchasing a home to ensure you are investing in the right property and don’t make common mistakes that could have been avoided. All of this will benefit you in the long run and allow you to run a successful house-flipping venture.

 

Categories
Informational

5 Common House Flipping Mistakes

If you ever watched a tv show on house flipping you may be inspired to try it yourself – house flipping is not as easy as they make it seem on HGTV. If you understand how to start in the house flipping industry it’s important to understand what mistakes not to make. Let’s face it – mistakes almost always happen when you are first starting a business. So, if you get ahead of the curve and understand what not to do – you will most likely avoid them.

House flipping is a growing industry. In a recent article shared by The Mootly “In 2017, just 5.7% of all home sales were flips. By the first quarter of 2022, that share jumped to 9.6%.” That is a huge jump and goes to show the growing interest in flipping. In the first quarter of 2022 alone 114,706 homes were flipped. With that being said, it’s important to understand how to get into the business without making major mistakes and potentially losing earnings.

5 Mistakes That Can Make House Flipping a Flop

 

  1. Not researching the area – investing in the wrong house. This is one of the most common mistakes when one is first starting out in the business and probably one of the most important things to be aware of. As you flip more you will learn which houses are worth it and which are not. If the house needs a new roof, it most likely is not worth it for you to purchase as that is a high-cost repair. Hiring a trusted contractor can help you determine any major issues before purchasing the home.
  2. Designing the home with you in mind – You purchased a home in the right neighborhood and now you are ready to start the updates. When doing so, it is important to remember that you will not be living in the home. Keep in mind what current trends are in – choose pieces that are trendy but also timeless, look to increase storage, and try to stay away from wall colors that are hard to paint over. This will make selling the home easier and real estate agents will be happy as well.
  3. Not giving yourself enough time. When starting the home flipping process be realistic about how much time it will take. In many instances it may take longer to find the house you’re looking for. Then, there are repairs which you can not always control. Give yourself extra wiggle room and prepare yourself for some unexpected things to come up.
  4. Overpaying for the house you will improve. This one is huge and overpaying for a house can easily keep you from making a profit. Look for homes under market value and shop around before buying. This is where the 70 rule comes into play. For an investment property, a good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 70% of the homes after repair value minus the costs of renovating. This should leave you with about a 30% profit margin. 
  5. Underestimating repair cost – Carefully budget the amount you need for repairs prior to you purchasing the home. If you are new to the business talk to a contractor and always add a little extra spend for unexpected issues. 
house flipping mistakes

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of getting into the house flipping business be sure to understand the ins and outs. Don’t underestimate the time and money it takes initially. It is easy to think it’s an easy job if you simply watch was is done on HGTV but do your due diligence and you will be heading in the right direction.

Categories
Informational

A Beginner’s Guide To House Flipping

In the past few years, there has been an increase in information and individuals sharing their success stories of house flipping. Flipping houses is a great way to make money, the business is extremely lucrative for individuals and companies that can commit their time. Given the right opportunity, you can make significant returns on your investment quickly. In this blog, we will run through the benefits and how to get started in the house flipping business.  

What is House Flipping?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is house flipping? House flipping is when a buyer purchases a distressed property, fixes it and then resells it for a profit. These properties are usually found through bank short sales, property auctions, or foreclosures.

Before jumping into the business of flipping it is important to understand the pros and cons of the business. 

House flipping

Advantages of House Flipping

 House flipping is a high-reward business so it makes sense that the first advantage of house flipping is profit. 

  • Profit – As of March 2022, the average net profit for house flipping was $30,000. This is a large profit that is usually obtained in a month or so. The profit you receive will vary based on where you live but typical ROIs are above 100%
  • Diversify your investments – Investing in different types of assets is a great way to reduce risk. Real Estate is a long-term investment that can allow you to increase your cash.
  • Be your own boss – You can make your own hours and take off when needed. It is important to recognize though, that this is a job that will require a lot of your time in the beginning.

 Cons of House Flipping

Where there is high reward there is almost always high risk. In Real Estate while you can make a lot of money if not done properly you can lose money just as quickly. 

  • Stress –  The business is stressful and time-consuming. Going into the business it’s important to expect the unexpected. Things may take longer than expected and if it’s your first time you will make mistakes. As you grow into the business less stress and mistakes will occur. 
  • Holding Costs – A typical rule in real estate is to sell the property quickly. The longer you own the property the more money you are losing. After renovations are completed you will still be responsible for the mortgage on the house. Because of this, experience flippers will try and sell the home before the first mortgage payment is due.

Getting Started

If you understand the pros and cons of house flipping and still want to get into the business there are a few steps you can take to get started.

 

  1. Knowing the area. This may be one of the most important steps as this will play a big part in determining your ROI. Take some time to research the real estate market and choose the right location. You can work with a real estate agent to help you find the right home and advise you through the process.
  2. Setting a Budget. You will need to acquire funds and ensure decisions made will keep you aligned with your budget. You should aim to make between 10%- 20% in profit when you sell a home. A good rule of thumb is to budget based on the 70% rule.
  3. Finance your project. There are a few ways you can finance a house flip. If you do not have the cash to hand over you can get pre-approved for a loan through a bank or, you can reach out to individual investors and see if they would like to invest in your property. Keep in mind that if this is your first flip – a bank may be the best option.
  4. Buy The House. Now that you have a budget and the money to put into your project it’s time to purchase the house. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of the process. Good options to consider will include, foreclosure, distressed, or bank-owned properties.
  5. Flip and Sell the Property. Once the repairs and updates have been completed it’s time to resell the property and get your cash. Again, the longer the house sits on the market the more money you lose to this should be a fairly quick process. If you do not have a portfolio of potential buyers you can work with a real estate agent to sell the house. Agents can help you sell the house quickly by listing it in the MLS database and help you to decide the right price.

House flipping can be a great business to get into and a great way to build wealth. It is important not to underestimate the time or money required to be successful in the business and remember it is never as easy as they make it look on TV.

Categories
Informational

Building Near Wetland 101

 

When building a new construction it’s important to not only look at the land on which you will be building but also at the land around it. If you are building near a wetland, it is important to know the specifics of what you can and can’t do along with how to go about getting a permit. As wetlands are usually protected it can be difficult to start a new build that is too close to the wetland ecosystem.

 

Wetland is important. The Environment of Protection Agency ( The EPA) defines wetlands as “areas where water covers the solid or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year” Essentially, a wetland is an area that is wet all year round or for long periods of times throughout the year. A wetland is an ecosystem and because of this, they play an essential role in the environment. 

 

There are two types of wetlands that are most commonly encountered when purchasing or looking to build on the land.

 

  1. Coastal/tidal wetlands: these, as their name suggests are found along the Atlantic, Pacific, Alaskan, and Gulf coasts.
  2. Inland/non-tidal wetlands: these are found around rivers or streams. 

 

While there other types of wetlands these are the two that you will most likely see when purchasing or building on the land.

 

Do you need a permit to build near Wetland?

If you notice that the land you wish to build on is near a wetland the first thing you should do is speak with an environmental consultant. This person will be able to survey the area and will have the training to identify plant communities that may prefer wet soils and other factors. You can also use the wetlands mapper tool to help you research your area. To be on the safe side, we would recommend going the consultant route.

 

Based on the consultants’ recommendations you will most likely need to obtain a permit to move forward with the building. If your new build will only impact half an acre or less of non-tidal wetland, you can look into the nationwide permitting process which is a little easier than going through the typical process with the US Army Corps of Engineers. 

 

The process of obtaining a permit for building near a wetland is long. Even after obtaining a permit, you may run into issues with water management around your building. 

 

 

What are the benefits of building near a wetland?

With the process of getting a permit being extremely time-consuming and daunting, why would people even want to build near a wetland? Well, there are certainly a few pros in our mind.

 

  • Privacy – Wetlands offer a high amount of privacy which to some is a huge plus.
  • Wildlife – This will vary based on your likes and dislikes but many people who do choose to build near wetlands do so because of the wildlife they will see. 
  • Investment – luxury properties that are close to wetlands in a well-connected urban area have a very high probability of appreciation when it comes to money. 

 

In Rhode Island alone, wetland takes up over 16% of the state which is pretty high compared to other parts of the US. So regardless if you plan to soak in the nature near the lake or not, it is important to understand the rules and regulations in your area.

 

 

Categories
Informational

What Home Renovations Require Permitting

Buying your first home or even updating your existing home is an exciting time, you can make the changes you desire and enhance your living experience. Typically, the first thing people think of when making changes in the design, color options, or how the change will increase the property value. 

With significant changes, it is essential to research and understand that many times, home renovations require permits.  Surprisingly, even smaller changes often need permits as well. To save you a headache later on, before starting any projects, make sure you understand the ins and outs of building permits and when they are required.

So, what even is a building permit? 

Building permits are written authorizations issued by a city or country that allows you to continue with construction for a project. They ensure that the project minimizes any health or safety risks that may be involved. These risks cans can include things such as structural collapse, fire hazards, and even electrical issues. While going through the process may seem tedious it’s important to understand that these permits are put in place to keep your family and your neighbors safe.

What kind of home renovations require permitting?

The types of projects that require permits will vary based on where you live. Local codes will dictate which renovations need a permit but as a good rule of thumb, the following renovations typically require a permit before starting.

  • Structural Changes: Any demolition or structural changes to your property will require your contractor to obtain a permit. This includes changes to your roof, deck, flooring, etc. 
  • Additions to your home: New construction or upgrades that total more than $5,000 will require a permit if they are larger than a 200-square foot change.
  • Plumbing or electrical work: Smaller items like replacing light fixture installations do not require permits however, if you are updating wiring, outlets, or plumbing you will most likely need to submit a permit.
  • Pools: This will vary based on where you live however typically pools that hold over 24 inches of water will need a permit.

Which home improvement jobs don’t need permits?

As one may hope, smaller projects like landscaping work and others do not require a permit. Other projects that do not require a permit may include things like: 

  • Painting
  • Installing hardwood floors or carpets
  • Replacing a faucet
  • Countertops

Essentially, any cosmetic improvement will fall into the category of no permit needed. 

What happens if you don’t get a permit?

The permit process can be frustrating but, if you don’t receive a permit for your home project it can lead to major issues with your city. Not receiving a permit can result in you having to pay hefty fees or in some cases your renovation work may be destroyed as there is no way for the city to know if your work is up to code.

If you hire a trusted professional contractor to handle your home renovation they should know whether the job requires a permit or not but, as the homeowner the responsibility will fall back on you so be sure to handle your due diligence. 

All in all, it’s the safest bet to reach out to your municipality to ensure permit requirements are met, it’s also important to hire someone you trust if you are not sure where to start download the Dibbs app to find professionals near you.

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Informational

Can I Trust the Building Material Suppliers’ Quality from Online Websites?

When starting any home renovation project, it is crucial to consider both the cost of the work and the cost of the materials needed to complete the project. Oftentimes, materials may be provided by the contractor or company you are working with. However, if it is something you need to provide it’s important to know where you can look and trust that you will find the best quality. When looking to purchase materials online there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Does this material meet my requirements?
  2. What is the price of the material in the local market?
  3. Are there substitute materials that may be more affordable?
  4. How will I get the materials?

Online marketplaces are a great way to start your search for the materials you need. Dibbs is a marketplace app that allows you to bid on materials. This allows you to feel peace of mind in knowing you are getting the best price possible. As for trusting the supplier, you can easily view certifications, reviews, and more on the app.

What are the benefits of purchasing materials from an online marketplace?

Review competitor’s pricing and quality 

When purchasing materials through a marketplace the process is typically a lot easier than if you were to do it the “old-fashioned” way. With a marketplace, you can easily view multiple vendors at once, the price and materials they are offering, and more. This allows for an easy comparison from one source meaning you will not need to contact multiple suppliers – saving you a lot of time and money. 

Easily browse substitute options

In addition to reviewing cost factors, online marketplaces offer a variety of wide range brands to choose from. If you don’t see the brand you were specifically looking for you may be able to find a substitute at a better price and one that still meets your requirements. 

Convenience to browse on your own time

Convenience is probably one of the most overlooked benefits of online marketplaces. These marketplaces provide you with the ability to shop for building materials at your leisure. You can search during commercial breaks of your favorite tv show and even after typical work hours. With online marketplaces, you can contact the supplier after work hours and get a response before your work day the next day. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. 

Faster Transactions

Automation means faster checkout. Orders online are usually processed within seconds and allow for real-time updates and tracking of order status. 

Cons of buying construction building materials online

While there are a lot of pros to buying construction materials online there are also a few cons. It’s important to think of these as you decide if you will use online marketplaces or not.

Product Testing

When buying products from a local store you can touch and feel the product before purchasing them to ensure they are in fact what you are looking for. With online shopping, as expected you do not have that option. If you are using an app such as Dibbs to purchase your materials be sure to chat with the vendor first so they can confirm the product being purchased will work for you. They may even be able to provide suggestions on substitutions to help you save money.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs can deter you from purchasing online. Be sure this is something you review purchasing products. 

All in all, the pros of buying construction materials through an online marketplace heavily outweigh the cons. Using apps such as Dibbs ensures that you are choosing the most affordable and best quality product for your job all from the ease of your home.