Insist on a Detailed Contract:
Have a contract both you and the contractor are satisfied with. Be sure this contract shows the business name, your name, and address. It is also important for your contract to list the specific work that will be performed. It is best to look for a contract that lists your building materials, specific sizes, prices, payment schedule, and warranties. You will also want your contractor to prepare an addendum for any changes that occur during your remodel.
Plan Ahead & Communicate Effectively:
When starting a remodel be sure you are happy with your selected materials. Any changes at a later date can cause delays and could make you go over budget. Meet with your contractor to discuss all aspects of your remodel. This is your home and you need to be clear on what you want and don’t want. Contractors are great at what they do, but they cannot read your mind.
When remodeling, don’t be afraid to knock down walls. Opening up space can change the whole feel of your home and create a more livable space.
Buying Cheap Materials:
If you’re going to do it, do it right. If it is over your budget discuss with your contractor other options that will keep you in the budget. Remember to save 10 to 15 percent extra for unexpected costs with your remodel. Every home is different, and you could run into mold/mildew, leaky pipes, electrical issues and etc. If you still break your budget it is best to wait.
Let your contractor purchase your materials.
Home improvement stores seem like they have a great deal on products when you start shopping. Let your contractor purchase your materials from a professional and reputable company. They’ll get you a better price and provide you with more options.
Never do your own electrical work:
Electrical work may seem easy and cost-effective but making one mistake can cause serious consequences. You may end up paying double the amount to fix any mistakes. All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician. Do not be afraid to ask for proof of insurance and license.
Leave the drywall, texture, and paintwork to the pros.
Contractors have the skill and technique it takes to make your walls look flawless. It takes years of experience to prepare your walls for paint.
Beware of payments:
Never pay 100% of your remodeling cost upfront! The first payment should only cover the starting materials. This first payment is usually 15-25 % of the total cost. A payment schedule should be included in your contract to ensure you get the work completed.
References and Reviews:
Keep in mind your contractor will be in and out of your home daily. Don’t be afraid to ask for references to ensure you have the best quality of people working on your home. You will also want to check reviews for any potential contractors.
Safety and cleanliness on the job site:
Any remodeling will come with power tools and dust. Take caution in the home when work is being performed. A professional contractor will tape off construction areas and leave the job site as clean as possible. Ask your contractor if they can provide professional cleaning services once your remodel is completely done.
A good contractor will offer warranties for all workmanship. Warranties are essential when doing a remodel and can save you the headache later. Warranties should be included in your contract with detailed timelines. If a warranty is not offered this could be a sign that your contractor does not stand behind their work.