The Remodeling Process
Remodeling your home can be an overwhelming task but it doesn’t have to be. The key to any successful remodeling project is finding the right team to work on your home. You need to make informed decisions about your project. Ask questions!
We recommend the following tips:
- Research professionals in your area or interview designers/remodelers/contractors recommended by a trusted source.
- Talk with more than one professional. Ask anything that is important to you. Having a good rapport with your project team is essential. See suggested questions below.
- Ask for references and call at least two. Ask questions about their workmanship, availability, scheduling, and how they handle disagreements. Ask anything else that is important to you!
- Work with a licensed professional. We also recommend working with professionals who have certifications and belong to organizations like EM NARI. Many organizations have a Code of Ethics and you should be aware of your rights as a client.
- Make sure you feel heard and comfortable with the person you choose. You will be opening your home to his or her team and subcontractors.
- Not all contractors work alike. Make sure you understand their processes and expectations of you as a client. Communicate your expectations clearly.
- Make sure you understand the scope and budget of your project as it develops. You can use the Cost Vs. Value report as a guideline.
- Make sure you understand the contract before you sign it. Ask questions. Any work should have a contract and many states stipulate what should be in the contract. Most need to have at least 14 points outlining the work to be done.
- Make sure that your contractor has the proper level of insurance. Check your homeowners’ policy as well.
- Don’t rush the process. Thoughtful planning (which can take time) results in a better finished project. It is more expensive to change your mind once construction has begun.
- A reputable contractor will provide you with documentation and handle permitting. Permits are required when doing almost anything on your home as defined by the state building code.
- Will the contractor help you with product selections? Make sure you understand what is required and all deadlines.
- Understand the scheduling of your project, payment schedule and financing options.
- Finally, as the work is nearing completion, keep track of any issues that need to be resolved before the contractor finishes.
- Do they offer a warranty? Make sure you understand the warranty.
- Did the project disappoint? If there are unresolved disputes, understand your rights and responsibilities. Does your contract stipulate arbitration? Hopefully no project results in that but knowing all of these elements before going forward will save you headaches and money in the end.
- Did the project go smoothly? If you are a happy client, the best way you can show your gratitude is by offering testimonials and references.
- It’s a well-kept secret that a good relationship with your contractor is one of life’s bonuses!