Whether you want to increase your home’s market value or you want more space for your family, remodeling has its own set of challenges. Apart from the hefty upfront costs, you have to deal with timeline adjustments and the process of vetting a good contractor. As the homeowner, you should be hands-on with the development of your house.
Homework: A Guide to Managing Home Remodeling Projects
Create a Mood Board
Before hiring a contractor, you need to have a clear picture of what you want your house to look like. One way to develop this image is by creating a mood board. You’ve probably seen multiple designs online or in a magazine that inspired you to remodel your home. Print them out and pin them on a cork board to make a collage. Your mood board should cover every part of your dream design — from the usual components like doors and windows down to the color scheme.
Choose Your Contractor Carefully
Your remodeling contractor is your partner throughout the remodeling project, so it’s important to hire someone you can trust. If a friend or family member had their house remodeled recently, ask them if they can refer you to their contractor. If you’re left to find one yourself, it’s easy to build a shortlist through a simple Google search for “contractors near me” or “contractors [name of city].” Once you have a shortlist, you can narrow them down further by looking at reviews on websites like Yelp or HomeAdvisor. You don’t want to go lower than four stars.
When you have about two to three choices, call them up or visit their office. Ask them these critical questions.
- Are you licensed? – While they show this on their website, you can never be too sure. This question is better asked in person. You need to see written proof from the state that your prospect is a licensed contractor. A license means that your prospect studied and got certified for that field.
- Is your team insured? – Whether or not your contractor has insurance doesn’t seem like a dealbreaker at first glance. However, general liability insurance and worker compensation can help you avoid a lawsuit when a worker gets hurt on the job while working on your property.
- Who is going to do the work? – Experienced and knowledgeable contractors and workers know how to get the job done smoothly. You don’t want to end up having an apprentice solely working on your home. An experienced remodeler should at least accompany them.
Once you’ve found your contractor, have them go over your mood board. Explain the type of work you need in detail. Be open to suggestions, too. You might have ideas that might not look pleasing once you see the finished product. Having good communication with your contractor is key to getting the home of your dreams.
Set Schedules and Budgets
Speaking of communication, it’s crucial that you and your contractor are on the same page when it comes to the limits of the work and its cost. They’ll most likely have a quote and a work schedule once they draft a plan for your project. If you’re not happy about what you need to pay, sacrifice a few fancy features and procedures. You can always save up for them later. When you have a final budget, do your best to stick to it. Having a contingency fund can also help in case of unforeseen problems during construction.
Keeping a strict schedule is crucial as well. If you feel like the pace of the work is too slow, be upfront and ask your contractor about it. Work out a better timeline so you can manage your expectations. Construction work should never be rushed.
Managing your remodeling project is all about setting and adjusting your expectations. You might have a picture of your dream home in your head; the real thing won’t always look the same. As long as your contractor knows what you want and sticks within the budget and schedule, you’re in good hands.
Build the Home of Your Dreams
You need to work with an expert to design the home of your dreams. Here at Total Home Remodeling, we have a team of remodeling designers that put your ideas first. We spark conversations with our clients to assess what they want in their home and how they plan to achieve it. As full-service contractors, you can count on us to be with you in every step of the remodeling process.
Call us now to learn more about our services.