Five Tips for Embarking on a Home Improvement Project

By Right now, we are living in a world of uncertainty, but something we know for certain is that you must continue to maintain your home’s integrity.

Whether it’s the color of your siding, shingles on your roof or your windows from the 80’s when the home was built, every homeowner is beginning to see home projects they need to take care of. After all, you’ve been staring at it all non-stop since March, maybe longer. Whether it’s time for an upgrade, unavoidable repairs, or just because you’re sick of looking at it, everyone is looking for an answer to their problems and it is showing through the entire supply chain. For most, starting a new home improvement project can be daunting, and every question runs through your mind: Do I have to do this now? Am I going to get ripped off? How do I find the right person for this job? How much should this cost? Here are some tips to help guide you through the process with a little more ease.

Gunner headquarters, 194 South Water Street, Greenwich.

We all have those moments, where we question if something really has to be done right now and sometimes the answer is yes; not just because there’s a visible problem, but maybe you’ve been dreaming of it for so long. Your home is an extension of who you are, and if you feel like your home needs a change, most of the time, it means it is time.

There are other instances that are more obvious, like water damage, mold, fading, shingle curling, deterioration, etc. Some questions to ask yourself would be: Why do I want to do this project? Can I afford to do this project? Where do I begin?

Why do you want to do this project? There are many answers that mean you should proceed. Top reasons can include I have a leak, it is outdated, or I just don’t like it. If you have any damage that needs to be rectified, do not wait! Even though you may not want to do the project now, you have to! Always see to repairs immediately, as delays can cause more damage.

Certain projects have to be done solely because the materials have run their course. Windows can be costly upfront but can save on future bills by reducing air escaping from your home, hot or cold. The newer high energy star rated windows can reduce your annual utility bills by hundreds of dollars. Honestly, the one time a project is stress free is when it is something you really want to do for yourself. This is not a luxury everyone has, but if you can do a project solely because you want to, go for it.

Can you afford to do this project? Many people immediately say, “no way!” but many companies offer financing options which can make any project a reality for you. This could be a major contributing factor when you select your contractor. Always ask what financing options they have. If they do not offer any, they could be the wrong contractor to work with.

When contemplating a new home improvement project, be sure to check out different companies and ask around. Check with friends for recommendations and look at sites like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, Google and Facebook for reviews.

Get multiple quotes to compare pricing and ask why they are different. Make sure you are getting everything done that you are supposed to, not just choosing the cheapest option. Choose someone who listens to you and trust your instincts! This person has to be someone you trust with your home and will be easy to work with.


Looking at a roof or siding project, you already know this will not be a cheap home improvement. If you are going with a cheaper option, you are rolling the dice on the quality of work, materials used, issues after or during the project and most importantly, the customer service for years after the project is completed. Go with a company that will always be there to stand by their work. Paying extra for a high-quality company, in the moment, may not seem too appealing. However it will save you in the long run.

One last tip once your project gets going: If you are watching the progress of your job and you feel like something doesn’t look right, say something sooner rather than later. It may not be a big deal to fix right away but could be difficult to change once the project is complete.

Nick Booth is Business Development Manager with Greenwich-based Gunner, providing roofing, siding, gutter and window installation services. 194 South Water Street. (203) 347-3368

Gunner workers on a roofing job.