1. Understanding Your Budget
A clear understanding of your budget and goals is the strongest foundation for a successful remodeling project. A comfortable, realistic budget can mean the difference between an enjoyable renovation or many sleepless nights, compromising both yours and your family’s peace of mind.
Setting goals and spending limits at the beginning will prevent you from overextending your resources, ensuring your satisfaction with the end product.
As you begin planning, isolate your reasons for remodeling. Are you inspired by an expanding family? Do you have a desire for refreshed and updated surroundings? Are there other reasons for the change?
Whatever your motivation, list your short- and long-term goals and keep them clearly in mind as you outline your budget. Start by reviewing your personal finances and setting a realistic limit on what you can comfortably devote to the project. Deciding how much to spend before you begin remodeling will help secure a stress-free process.
2. The Bidding Process
Once you’ve determined your budget, you’re ready to get quotes on the prospective remodeling project. Being open and willing to share your ideas with contractors to guarantee accurate quotes.
Be as clear and honest as possible in explaining the problems you are seeking to solve, as well as your goals for the project. Help the contractor understand what you hope the changes will do for your home and your family. Pictures, drawings, blueprints, any type of visual you can present will help contractors understand the result you envision.
Above all, be consistent when presenting your ideas to multiple contractors to later ensure that you are comparing similar quotes.
3. Asking the Right Questions
In addition to being clear about your own expectations and financial limits, it’s important to know the right questions to ask when searching for a contractor. Consider the following top questions to ask any prospective contractor:
- How are you licensed?
- What is your insurance coverage and what is the extent of the coverage?
- What jobs have you done that are similar to this?
- What is your best estimate for how long the work will take?
- Do you have an established team or will you be using sub-contractors? If using subs, are they also insured?
- Who will pay the subs?
- What role will the homeowner play in the process?
- What frequency of communication and interaction can the homeowner expect?
- How often with the homeowner and contractor meet?
- Will the contractor be on the job during work?
- What type of employees will be in and around my home?
- How will changes to the project and proposed plans be handled?
4. Picking the Right Contractor
Choosing the right contractor for your project is more involved
than simply comparing bids and making a decision based on price.
How will you know the right equation for your project? It’s a matter of price vs. value, and the human connection.
It’s important for homeowners to consider all aspects that will contribute to the final outcome for their home and family. Looking only at the bottom dollar figure on a bid sheet or project proposal might cause the homeowner to overlook important factors.
Selecting your contractor involves an informed value judgment after carefully considering the experience of each contractor, and whose work and background will best fit you and your project.
Furthermore, in addition to price and experience, take into account the rapport you may or may not have with each contractor. The personal dynamic you develop with your contractor will help prevent stress during the project and can increase the quality of the finished product.
5. During the Process
Once you have selected a contractor, and agreed upon a price and a timeline, you need to establish a balance in communication. As the homeowner, it’s important for you to remain available and open to checking in with the contractor as work progresses.
If you have established your budget, received bids from qualified contractors and evaluated those bids closely, you will be able to enjoy the changes being made to your home. Second guessing the unfolding project and questioning the work of the contractor will undoubtedly slow the progress and can leave both you and the crew frustrated.
Meanwhile, failings in communications will leave all decisions to the contractor and possibly compromise the outcome. Though it might not be a clear-cut path, the homeowner should work to strike a balance between these two extremes and focus on maintaining good communication with the contractor during the remodeling process.