Along with spring comes the warm weather you’ve been waiting for. You can finally get started on the spring project you’ve been thinking about all winter: a new garage. You need more room, plus a little more room for yourself, but where do you start?
Plan Carefully for Home Improvement Projects
Building a garage or taking on any home project takes a lot of planning. It’s tempting to jump right in, but the best way to start is by getting information about what works, what doesn’t work, and who can help you along the way. Aside from searching on the internet, listen to firsthand experiences from other homeowners just like you. Home and garden shows, which attract like-minded neighbors, make the rounds this time of year. In fact, you may have visited the recent Home Remodeling and Garden Show in River Falls, WI—a great place to talk to vendors and get questions answered from experts.
Keep your home insurance in mind, too. A home improvement project is an investment, and considering the impact on your insurance is an essential part of planning ahead for a successful project. Here is five spring home project insurance considerations to keep in mind:
1. Ask if Your Project Is Covered
Buildings and structures, like your garage, are typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but not the land that those structures sit on. Gardens and landscaping may not be covered, but there may be exceptions. Check with your agent about the specifics of your policy.
2. What are “Other Structures”?
In your insurance policy, you may see references to Coverage B – Other Structures. These are the structures on your property that are not your home, also known as a Dwelling. Shed, patios, and garages are prime examples of these kinds of structures. It’s important to find out how, or if, these are covered by your policy.
3. Know Your Limits
Insurance coverage for “other structures” has limits. They are usually about 10% of the amount that your home is insured for. If your house is covered for $200,000, then you have $20,000 for other structures. You may need additional coverage because, after all, a garage is bigger and more expensive than a tool shed and you’ll need more protection than what your policy provides. Check with your agent about additional coverage.
4. Double Check About Special Structures
Pools and fire pits are examples of special structures that may require unique underwriting review. If your spring project includes special structures, they may be covered only if certain safety features are present. It’s important for your insurance agent to know exactly what your spring project involves so they can help you understand what your policy covers—or doesn’t cover.
5. Speak with Your Agent Before Breaking Ground
You will be putting a lot of money and effort into your spring project. You want to make sure it’s protected. Talk to your agent while you’re planning, as their input can help guide how you approach the project and can pay off when you’re all finished.