You have either experienced a nightmare remodeling or know someone who has. But don’t let that deter you from creating your dream home. By simply following a few tips you can keep your hair and your sanity and have what you want.
1. Choose a contractor you feel comfortable with and who had genuine good reviews from clients. He should possess good communication skills as they will be invaluable throughout the process.
2. Have a plan: know what you want before you start. Whether remodeling a new bathroom, kitchen or basement, have an idea of what you want it to look like. Also don’t forget the details that make life easier like enough electrical outlets, enough counter space or storage for your kitchen appliances.
3. The more details you start with the more time and money you will save in the long run. Realize that once you have a signed contract any changes you make can change the cost and timeframe. If you are not completely sure of those details, a good contractor with a lot of experience can help you figure them out.
4. Don’t assume that the lowest bidder will do the best job. What appears to be saving money at the beginning can costs countless headaches and extra money in the long run. It is better to spend a bit more and be worry free ultimately.
5. Ensure that your contractor gives you a contract and timeline. If the contractor you are thinking of hiring is unwilling to give you a written agreement or commit to a time frame, it’s time to look for someone else.
6. Make sure that your contractor is licensed and insured. While accidents and damage rarely happen it is a good thing to be prepared. You don’t want to be left holding the bag if an unforeseen mishap occurs.
7. Your contractor should pull permits where they are required. Trying to cut corners by doing a job illegally spells trouble. Should a building inspector catch wind of a job being done without a permit, the job will be shut down and fines can be levied, and that in turns means more time and more money. It’s simply not worth it.
8. Don’t micromanage the job. If you hired the right contractor, he knows what he is doing and micromanaging him, or his crew, will cause aggravation and add time which all translates into more money being spent.
9. Remove valuable and breakable out of the construction zone. A construction zone is as the name implies, and not a space for a favorite vase or picture frame.
10. Seal off any entrance to other rooms from the construction zone with plastic sheeting and masking tape. While it is almost impossible to keep dust from traveling to other parts of the house, it is best to keep it to a minimum.
11. Make sure you do a final inspection. Walk through the job with your contractor and together you can put together a list of all minor details that have to be finished if needed.
12. Keep in mind that remodeling doesn’t last forever and that soon or later the process will be over but your new space will be a source of enjoyment.
13. If your contractor did a good job (and if you chose right, he should) give him a good reference.