Tips to Reduce Your Personal Liability when Renovating Your Home
“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” – David Allan Coe
Are you considering renovating your home? Has your family grown to the extent that it is too small for the house you live in? Or, are you redoing high-traffic areas such as the kitchen and the bathrooms?
Once you have decided what areas of your home need to be redone or extended, the next step is to determine your budget and whether you will do the work yourself or bring in external contractors to complete the work for you.
The succinct answer to whether you should hire contractors or do the work yourself depends on the following criteria:
- Are you skilled at installing plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, tiling, and general building work?
- Does the work need to be completed in a specified time period?
- If you are extending, are the current foundations able to carry the extra load?
The answers to these questions will determine how to proceed: whether you hire a general contractor or whether you do the work yourself.
There is, however, another vital point that must be considered:
Does your current homeowners insurance policy cover any injuries resulting from accidents or negligence that might occur during this renovation period? The reality is that if the current cover does not extend to personal injury claims as a consequence of your home renovations, you will have to increase your cover during this time.
That being said, here are several tips to help you mitigate the risk of a personal injury claim against you:
Consult with a legal expert
A personal injury attorney in Toledo is knowledgeable about, and skilled and experienced in, the field of the Tort Law (personal injury law). Therefore, it makes sense to take legal advice before you start with the renovations to ensure that your homeowner’s insurance will cover accidental injuries.
Choose building contractors wisely
It is vital to choose a general contractor, or individual contractors, who do not only produce a very high standard of work, but they also need to be neat and tidy while renovating your home. This will reduce the risk of injuries due to accidents or negligence.
Consult with a structural engineer before you start work
Should you be adding a second story to your home, it is critical to confirm that the house foundations are strong enough to carry the additional load. Because, if the foundations are not structurally sound at the outset of the construction, there is a good chance that they will collapse once they have to bear the weight of the second story.
To the uninitiated, it might seem as though this article is making an unnecessary fuss about emphasising the importance of making sure that you have adequate homeowner’s insurance to cover any accidental injuries while the renovations are taking place, and that you hire building contractors who are neat and tidy while they work. The salient point here is that once an accident has occurred, it is too late. Thus, it is worth taking the time and effort to prevent a disaster before it has a chance to happen.