7 home improvement mistakes to avoid

Deck

Deck

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1. Don't ignore safety

This goes for any home-improvement project. Simple precautions like wearing safety goggles, not overloading outlets and turning off breakers will take only a few minutes or a few extra bucks - but these steps can save you from disaster.

2. Don't forget about the subfloor

Laminate flooring needs an underlay/vapor barrier for almost any surface it is being installed over. Not only will a subfloor protect flooring from moisture, it also will help with soundproofing. Hardwood floors need an even subfloor; use subfloor compound to ensure a level surface. If laying tile in a bathroom, cement backer board should be used underneath.

3. Don't skimp on the grout sealer

You can spend a lot of time and money installing tile, but if you don't properly seal the grout it can absorb water, dirt and other stains.

4. Don't get the wrong pro

If you need to hire a pro, make sure the person is qualified for the job. Never let anyone other than a licensed electrician repair or alter the wiring in your home. The same goes for plumbing - on Long Island, plumbers receive a license through towns and villages. Find out if they are licensed by checking either with your local municipality or the New York State Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Inc. (nysphcc.org).

5. Don't skip the primer

The key to a successful paint job is comprehensive preparation. A coat of primer will seal the surface, provide durability and create a solid bond to which the paint can adhere. The only time primer may not be needed is when painting latex over latex, and the colors have a similar intensity.

6. Don't forget the building permits

The last thing anyone wants is to spend time and effort building a beautiful deck only to find out it must be ripped up because there was no permit. Check out the rules and regulations for building permits, codes and inspections before you start any remodeling project.

7. Don't get the wrong style of window

The wrong windows can have consequences on both the interior and exterior of the home. When choosing windows, make sure the style matches the appearance and architecture of your home's exterior. On the inside, windows will affect the light, ventilation and temperature of the house.

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