With spring coming up, now is the time to start moving forward with the home project you’ve been thinking about all winter. Perhaps you’ve always wanted a gazebo so you could spend more time relaxing outside on summer evenings. Or maybe a patio is more your style? Either way, you’re looking for a shady place to sit and enjoy time with your family and friends.
A gazebo, patio, or any other warm-weather home improvement project on your mind, requires careful planning. Taking the time to cover your bases ensures you’ll be happier with the results—and save you in the pocketbook, too. Keep reading for helpful tips to get your home project “off the ground” and into your yard.
Launch your project with some good, old-fashioned research. But do it the modern way! Get on the internet and search for your project. You’ll find plenty of websites with helpful images, tips, and how-to lists that will guide you as you make decisions, choose vendors, and buy materials. You can also find customer review sites, where people share their experiences and best practices. For face-to-face support, find a local home and garden show in the greater Waukesha, WI, area, where you can speak with the experts and vendors on hand to answer all of your questions.
Consult your insurance agent as well. A home project is an investment in your property—and that means you need insurance to protect it. An agent can give some helpful advice in the planning stages of your project, especially if your vision includes building structures on your property. Here are 4 home project insurance considerations to keep in mind:
What Can Be Covered?
Your house is covered by your homeowners insurance, and so are many other structures (more on that later), but the land may not be. Expensive landscapes and gardens are not usually covered, for instance, but there may be exceptions. Ask your agent for the specifics of your policy and see what is covered and what is not.
Your home is covered under your policy, usually known as Coverage A – Dwelling. A garage, on the other hand, is classified differently. It’s typically known as Coverage B – Other Structures. Gazebos and tool sheds are other examples of this classification. These tend to be covered differently, so be careful not to make any assumptions about what—or how much—your policy covers.
The coverage on “Other Structures” may be limited. Often, it’s 10% of the insured amount of your home. If you have $250,000 in coverage for your home, then you have $25,000 coverage for other structures. Additional coverage may be available for structures, like garages, which require it. Check with your agent about getting the proper coverage for whatever you have in mind.
What are “Special Structures”?
Some buildings or additions may be deemed “Special Structures.” These require special considerations when underwriting your insurance policy due to potential safety risks. For example, you may be required to put a fence around your new pool to get it covered. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits tend to require the addition of safety features, too, so ask your agent for details.
Speak with Your Agent
A home project can take a lot of money and effort. But if you plan your project well and protect your investment, you’ll enjoy it for years to come. Don’t forget to include your insurance agent among the experts you call for the important guidance you need as you get started.