your home can be fun and exciting. It can also become a headache if you
are unprepared. We’d like to help you avoid some of the common mistakes
homeowners can experience when remodeling. These suggestions are for
both self-remodeling or if you are hiring a general contractor.
Ultimately, you as the homeowner will be living with the finished
Before getting started you need to have a concrete
idea of what you want. Do your research on products, plans and budget.
If you are hiring a general contractor it is important to have this
information to share with the contractor so he/she can give you a more
accurate estimate. If you are unsure of some details, a good contractor
can give you some ideas and help you decide what is economically more
practical with your budget. A good contractor should also foresee
possible problems that may come up during the remodeling project. If you
are doing the project yourself, remember to take your time and prep the
area before starting the project. It can save you time and possibly
money as the project progresses.
You do not want to under estimate the time it will
take to complete the project. While the project is under construction,
this will affect your home. If you are remodeling your bathroom, choose a
time that you are not expecting to have an out of town guest. Check a
general contractors reference, you will want to inquire if he/she met
the approximate completion dates of previous projects. Any home
improvement project can have unexpected delays (i.e. weather, materials
unavailability, delivery of materials). A contractor should be able to
complete a project with in a reasonable time frame. If you are doing the
project yourself, you can expect some of these same delays.
Depending on the home improvement project, it is
unusual for a general contractor to expect full payment at the start of a
job. If a contractor wants you to pay in full for a kitchen remodel,
you might want to reconsider this contractor. You should expect to pay a
percentage up front; this is called a start up fee. If the project is a
large project, the contractor will set up a payment schedule for the
Set aside a reserve account, for unforeseen problems.
If you are having a bathroom remodeled and remove the bathtub to find
dry rot and mold you will have an added expense you did not expect. This
reserve account will help with those situations.
While choosing the design and style of your new
project remember you will want the remodel project to last 10 – 20
years. Keeping this in mind when selecting materials for your project.
Selecting materials that meet your needs is also advantageous. Choosing a
gourmet double oven when you usually eat frozen pizzas isn’t practical.
You can always upgrade appliances, vanities and hardware in the future.
You will want to invest in quality products that will
last. If your cabinets are not made of sturdy material, everyday wear
and tear on them will have them breaking down in no time. Remember
what’s underneath the surface will make it last. You may pay more up
front, but ultimately you will save money down the line for a possible
replacement and installation.
Finally, if you are paying for a contractor you want
him to use his time wisely. When the homeowners change their mind, it
can cause delays and more money for you - time is money! The
construction company is there to meet your needs, if you distract them
with unnecessary conversation they are unable to work efficiently for
you. They want to meet your deadlines and fulfill your agreement. Your
home improvement project is their top priority, as it is yours.