In our continuing blog series, “Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Professional for your Renovation Project”, we tackle how to ensure a smooth project. Knowing these guidelines will help you navigate your renovation project and give you confidence in your contractor!
It is essential that you have an excellent flow of communication with your contractor. Do they return calls promptly? Do they listen intently to your likes and dislikes? Do they take notes? Can you reach them when needed? This will be even more important once your project begins.
You’ll most likely be spending a good bit of time with your contractor, so it is important that you feel comfortable with them. You should also have a good sense as to whether the same holds true regarding the members of their staff. Like any good relationship, a strong rapport and close communication with your contractor will help any job go more smoothly.
The scheduling of your project is something that should be discussed upfront. A responsible and reputable contractor will do their best to keep you informed both in the initial stages and as your project progresses.
A Clear, Well Written Proposal/Contract
Getting it in writing is essential! Nothing is worse than a disagreement because the terms weren’t written down. Frequently, one person remembers something differently. Every part of the job from the general conditions and demolition to the final trim and clean up should be clearly described. General terms like “install windows and doors” are too vague and should be clearly spelled out indicating exactly what window, what door, including make, model, size, features, location, color, style, etc. A detailed contract should include:
- A visual representation such as a blueprint, floor plan, drawings, sketches, that clearly shows what work is being done and where.
- The timetable in which the project is expected to be completed, including approximate start and end dates.
- The price, along with payment terms and schedule.
- Detailed specifications for all products and materials.
- A list of work and/or things not included.
- Insurance information.
- Permit information (e.g., whether it’s required and who will get it)
- Procedure for handling change orders.
- Notice of your right under the FTC’s rule to cancel the contract within three business days if it was signed in a place other than the contractor’s place of business.
Details, Details, and More Details
There are several things that should be discussed prior to starting your project. What time will work start and end each day? Where will materials be stored? What special circumstances need to be taken into consideration? Discussing details like these upfront saves a lot of aggravation and eliminates misunderstandings.
Remodeling can be disruptive to your normal lifestyle. Remember to be as flexible as possible.
Changes are inevitable when it comes to home remodeling. There are often changes made to the design, the materials, and the scope of work once work begins.
It’s a good idea to set aside an additional 10% or more beyond the contract amount to cover these changes.
The bottom line is: Almost all changes will affect the budget and the schedule. Make sure all changes are in writing and are kept current to avoid any surprises in the end.
Written Lien Waivers
Often your remodeling professional will work with other tradesmen or subcontractors who specialize in certain aspects of your project. It is your contractor’s responsibility to make sure these people, as well as material suppliers, are paid for services and materials related to your project.
Make sure your contractor is willing to provide you with a written lien waiver at the end of your project in trade for the final payment. This is a document that proves that you have paid for the project in full, thereby eliminating the chances of the contractor’s subcontractors or suppliers placing a lien on your property due to not being paid by your contractor for the work performed on your home.
Establishing good communication and walking through each of these topics with your contractor will ensure a smooth project!
FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE
Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide. Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project. This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.
Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area
Begin your project by calling us at (602) 478-5102 or emailing [email protected] to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom. We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!