Tips for Home Remodel and Contractor Relations
Remodeling a Home can be a Great Experience
Plan Your Home Remodel Job
Planning your project is critical to the success. In most cases, the home owner does the preliminary planning and then selects the contractor to do the work. This process of planning is often skimmed over by home owners who are in a hurry to get things started.
Rushing through the planning stage can often result in botched jobs and costs that skyrocket into the stratosphere because of surprises that crop up during the project.
While doing the planning, be sure to make a list of all the fixtures and other materials you want to use in the project. Include the cost, be it in square feet, by length, or by item. Measure several times. This will help you to calculate cost on things like counter topping and flooring.
Decide now what things you can do yourself, such as painting and cleaning. This can often save you money on the project.
Don't forget to include costs of new siding for additions and roofing for the extension. Go back over your plan to see if you can cut expenses.
Add about 25 percent to your budget for unforeseen costs. This way you will have fewer surprises.
Do research before hiring a contractor.
What was your remodel experience like?
Are you happy with the way it came out?
Your Remodel Contractor and You
Everyone knows that it is best to select a licensed contractor for the job. That said, there are some things you should talk with perspective contractors about before deciding which one you will go with.
Ask the contractor if they will come every day until the job is completed. Ask about their hourly rates. Take some time to talk with them enough to know if they get "your vision" or not. Ask if certain aspects of the job are labor intensive. If you ask a him or her, "Is this hard to do?" Most of the time they will tell you "No." However, they may not think to tell you if it is labor intensive, which means more cost, or if it requires moving plumbing and electrical wiring, which also is very expensive.
After you have selected your contractor, get a firm start date for the project. This is also a good question to ask when interviewing the prospective company or person who is doing the estimating for the job.
During this time it is also a good idea to ask about dust, debris removal, and how you will need to move furniture and your possessions in order to make room for them to work.
Be sure to ask about process and flow of the various job components, such as what area they will begin work on, and how they will move from component to component until the job is finished.
Getting this information will provide you with the ability to stay abreast of what is going on in your own home from one day to the next. It will also help you to plan when you will need to move furniture or vacate the house for a day while they work.
Keep the Remodel Work Space Clear
During the Remodel Project
During the remodel phase, be sure to find out on a day-to-day basis when the workers will arrive at your home. Be up, showered and dressed. Being ready when they arrive helps to keep the costs down and keeps the work flowing. It also helps to keep the relationship positive. If you are not ready, it puts the contractor behind schedule, creating problems for you, him, and his other clients.
Clean, clean, clean. If they are working in your kitchen, for example, be sure to have all areas cleared. Eat off paper plates if you have to, but make sure you do not have dirty dishes, or household garbage in the way.
One handy man went to do what was a very small job for a client. When he got there, however, he found that he needed to move boxes, machine parts, and all manner of junk just to reach the shelf that he was to repair. This was a storage shed. As he was going in he commented, "And people wonder why it costs so much." It took him over an hour of back-breaking labor just to get to the job he was supposed to do, and even then there was just a trail to the spot.
Make it easier on the contractor to save money and have a good experience. If you want the shelf repaired, make sure he can easily walk up to the shelf and have room to work.
After The Home Renovation Job is Completed
Be sure to contact your contractor right away if you find any items or issues that need to be taken care of. Most contractors have a time limit for contacting them, such as one year or six months.
Take the time to examine each area that has been worked on. Write down a list of any blemishes, cracks, or other items that need touching up. Doing this as the project progresses is an excellent way of having to revisit problems later on.
Still, over time you may find that something jiggles, or leaks a couple of weeks or even a couple of months later. Most of the time you will not have significant problems if you hired a reputable person for the job, but sometimes things crop up. Know that this is fairly normal. Just contact the person who did the work right away so that they can take care of it in a timely manner.
© 2014 Nancy Owens