Undertaking a home renovation can be a challenging task. In order to minimize the potential drama associated with a home improvement project, there are seven key tactics to employ with your contractor to have a smoother home renovation or remodeling project.
Make a Meaningful Connection with Your Contractor
When seeking a home improvement contractor, you want to make sure that you find a professional that you really can connect with. What this means is that you engage a contractor that understands your goals, objectives, and vision.
You also must make sure that you select a contractor that not only understands your essential goals but is also a person that you can communicate easily and openly with on all issues related to your project. The best way to ascertain whether you will be able to develop this type of necessary relationship with a contractor is to have a face to face meeting before you retain that professional’s services.
Keep in Mind that Price Reflects Quality
If you are like most people, you do have to watch the bottom line when it comes to a home improvement project. Understanding this reality, you nonetheless will not automatically want to take the cheapest contractor bid or purchase the least expensive materials when it comes to your improvement project. The reality is if you go too cheap, you will end up less than ideal labor and materials for your home improvement project.
When you are taking bids from prospective contractors, you need to obtain a specific list of the types of materials that will be used on your project. You should also obtain a summary of the members of the labor team who will work on your project as well.
Understand a Contractor’s Credentials
Another tactic to ensure a smooth home renovation is to fully understand a contractor’s credentials. For example, a contractor may have abbreviations behind his or her name. These abbreviations represent different certifications, usually from national trade organizations.
You also need to make sure that a contractor maintains proper insurance. In addition, a contractor needs to be properly bonded. Insurance and bonds are crucial in the event that something goes off the rails in regard to a home improvement project in one way or another.
Make Sure a Contract is in Writing
One of the most important steps you must take to ensure a smooth home renovation project is to make sure a contract is in writing. The contract for a home improvement project needs to be detailed. It needs to include all major elements of the project.
An appropriate home improvement contract needs to set forth the specific milestones at which time a payment for the project will be due. It also needs to delineate the manner in which final approval of the project will be undertaken and how and when the final payment will be made.
Honestly Advise Contractor of Your Budget Limitations
Maintaining a smooth relationship in a home improvement project necessitates honest communication about your budget limitations. Don’t mislead a contractor about what you are capable of spending on a home improvement project.
You can control some expenses by doing some of the work on your own. Let your contractor know that you intend to do some tasks on your own as a means of containing costs. Make sure you let a contractor know this during the bidding process.
Engage in a Course of Self Education
Before you proceed very far with a home improvement project take time to engage in a course of self education about the different elements of your project. Part of this self education must occur before you open your project to bids from contractors.
Once you begin to take bids, do not be shy about asking questions of these contractors. Make sure you fully understand what a contractor means by things contained within a bid.
Be Completely Prepared to Start Your Home Improvement Project
You need to be proactive when preparing for the start of your home improvement project to keep things on a smooth course with the contractor and others. Unfortunately, many people don’t prepare anything before the arrival of the contractor or a subcontractor. Not being prepared unduly delays a project and wastes the time of a contractor or subcontractor.
Examples of things that need to be done to prepare for a home improvement project include clearing space for the crew who will be working at your home. This includes space where supplies, equipment, tools, and materials can be stowed during the project.
Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.