Home Remodeling Tips – 10 ways to make it a success
Courtesy of Corvus Construction 206-355-4981
The following tips will help get you started on your home remodel. Following these simple guidelines can make the difference between a successful remodel or a terrible one.
1. Have an idea – Create a home remodeling folder. Fill this folder up with the things you see you like. Rip pages out of home improvement magazines, copy photos from the internet. Anytime you see something you like put it in your folder.
2. Know your budget – Remodels can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands. If you are planning to finance your project be sure to have your funding approved before moving to far ahead. It can be helpful to share your budget with your contractor as they can help steer you to the materials and upgrades that would work within your budget.
3. Select a contractor – The absolute best thing to do is to ask your friends or co-workers who have remodeled before. Would they recommend the contractor they have hired? Usually your friends or co-workers will give a very valuable unbiased opinion about the contractor that worked on their house.
Contact a few contractors. Don’t be afraid to interview your contractors just like you would be interviewed for any job. Don’t forget that the contractor you select for the job will become apart of your daily life while the remodel is underway so it is absolutely essential that your decision of whom to hire is made on more then who’s bid was lower. Communication is key in any relationship and vital to a successful home remodel.
4. Do your homework – Be sure the contractor you select in licensed, bonded and insured. You can look this information up on the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries web site at www.lni.wa.gov and select look up Contractor. You can also call the Department of Labor and Industries at 1-800-647-0982.
5. Get references – If you have decided to hire a contractor without a referral from someone you know ask the contractor to provide you with at least 3 references. Once you have them be sure to contact them. Ask them about their experience working with this contractor and also ask what type of home remodel they had done.
6. Who is the expert? – As you are interviewing your candidates ask them specific questions pertaining to your home remodeling project. Who seems to know more you or the contractor? Do you feel confident that this contractor has a good understanding of what you want, and will he be able to deliver? Your contractor should be able to give you solid examples as to how he plans to complete your remodel. Often remodeling projects do not go according to plan, so be sure to ask your potential contractor what is his change order policy, and how do they deal with unexpected findings during a remodeling project.
7. Do you have plans? – If you are doing an extensive remodel you will most likely need to hire a designer or an architect to have plans (blue prints) drawn up. Be sure you understand these plans before moving forward. Often times your contractor can refer you to a designer or an architect that they have a working relationship with, or the contractor firm you planning on hiring simply has one on staff. This can make the communication between the contractor and the designer more seamless. If you already have a professional set of plans any legitimate contractor should be able to move forward using the ones you have already obtained.
8. Get a contract – Be sure you understand the contract and design plans before moving forward. A few things to look for in the contract would be the scope of work, budget items, product specifications, owners responsibilities, dates for the remodel, change order procedures, project and payment schedules, responsibility of removal of construction debris.
9. Prepare for disruption – No matter how clean and courteous the contractor you select is – your lifestyle will be interrupted. Dust, noise, debris as well as workers coming and going is all part of the process. If you mentally prepare for this disruption it will help the project go a whole lot smoother.
10. Get excited – You are about to undergo an amazing transformation in your home. One you will enjoy with friends and family for years to come. Don’t lose sight of why you began this remodeling project in the first place. You are on your way to a enjoying your newly remodeled space.