Remodeling your home can be stressful. However, if you know what to expect, it can lessen the impact on you and your family.
First and foremost, developing a comfortable working relationship with your contractor is paramount to a successful outcome. For more information on selecting a contractor, read “6 Mistakes to avoid when selecting a contractor”. Be sure your partnership is a good fit!
Mutual respect between both parties from the very beginning is a must. Both homeowner and contractor alike must respect each others time and investment. Hopefully, your contractor will establish expectations from the planning phases, into negotiation and contract signing and all the way through the completion of your project. Trouble during a remodel project is usually a result of a homeowner not fully understanding something or the contractor not setting proper expectations.
Here are a few bullet points to understand and consider, no matter if your just beginning to think of a remodel project or you have already selected a remodel contractor for your next project:
- Realize that reputable remodel contractors consider themselves professionals. They keep business hours. In most cases this means Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm and they rarely make exceptions. Contractors have family’s and lives, just like homeowners. In most cases, this means they will NOT be tearing apart your house, running their tools, and constructing your walls on a Saturday and Sunday. Remodeling is expensive and is an important decision. If your serious about your intent to renovate, give it the time it deserves, even if that means going into work late or leaving a little early.
- Remodel contractor’s time is valuable, just as much as homeowner’s. Yes, rescheduling appointments due to conflicts, or illness do happen from time to time. We understand you may need to do the same. If your NOT going to be able to keep an appointment, please give us call as soon as possible. Again, we will extend the same courtesy.
- Don’t beat a contractor up on price. It is acceptable to question costs and negotiate certain items, but for the most part a professional remodeler who has been around a long time, knows what it takes for a project to be built and what it takes to make certain they are still in business when your project needs service. If you find one ridiculously low price out of line with two other quotes, chances are your not comparing apples to apples. If you base your choice on price alone, a professinal remodeler is not the right fit for you.
- Expect to pay a fee for design work. This may be a fixed charge or an hourly rate. Design work take time, but it is important to understand how everything will come together before a price is presented. Avoid accepting a price quote for additions and major modifications without a working plan in which to build from.
- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO to ensure your happiness concerns is to read and understand every line of your scope of work/roject specifications and contract. This is extremely important as most conflicts during a remodel project occur because either the homeowner to not read and understand what was specified, signed and agreed upon. In some cases, perhaps the contractor failed to clearly describe something but do yourself a favor: If you have a question about a selection, or do not understand what something means, ask. It’s that simple. But please do so before you sign the contract!
- Try and make as many selections as possible before you sign a contract. Agreed upon selections can be written in the specifications and help eliminate allowances. Likewise, try and keep changes to minimum to avoid change orders, which cost additional time and money.
- Discuss such issues such as the use of your bathrooms, any pets that may need to be secured and the safety of any children in the area. As well, understand when to expect work to begin and end every day.
- Realize that delays may happen and many of them can be out of the control of the contractor. Some are due to product selections. Making timely choices can help with this. Other delays in the construction schedule may be due to building inspections. For instance, a rough-in inspection of electrical, heating and cooling or plumbing must occur before drywall is installed. In some jurisdictions, inspectors are given up to 48 hours to complete a inspection. The important thing to realize is contractors want to keep you on schedule. Time is money. Not only in extra expenses for your project, but also starting another project.
- If you have a question or concern, let your contractor know as soon as possible! Do not let minor issues fester. Rather, address them as soon as they arrive. Mistakes happen, but it is how your contractor reacts that is the important thing. And remember, remodel contractors stay in business by making you happy!
Your house is most likely your single largest investment you will ever make. Sometimes our home needs modified, or routine maintenance at the least. When your home needs attention or you need to add extra space, take a breath and do your homework so you know what to expect. Reducing the stress present in many projects is key to being happy with the end result!