When we are out meeting with potential customers to talk about their vision for their home, we are often faced with a situation where the potential customer has no idea what they are getting themselves into! A home improvement project can be a daunting task, but it should also be enjoyable. A lot of the time homeowners are unsure about the length of time it may take to complete their home remodel. Unexpected problems, if any, that may occur. And, most importantly, the cost of it all.
It's important to do your own research before meeting with a contractor. Here are a few things to avoid to make sure your remodeling project runs smoothly.
- Not understanding your project. This isn't just about fixtures and finishes, it's about understanding all the invisible work that might be involved as well. If you want an overhead light where there currently isn't one, you will need new wiring behind the walls.
- Waiting until the last minute to make detailed decisions. This is about fixtures and finishes. You want to avoid being forced to make a decision overnight on the tile you're going to be staring at for the next decade, so think the details through ahead of time. You're also less likely to regret a well-thought out decision than one that is made in a time crunch.
- Not getting a fixed price contract. When it comes to home improvement projects, you want fewer surprises and changes, not more. A fixed price contract binds your contractor to the deal you made, rather than the more loosely constructed "time plus materials" agreement. You may have to make changes along the way, either because you changed your mind or the contractor encountered an unexpected problem, but even these are concrete.
- Not preparing for the unexpected. Have contractors lay out exactly where they think plans can go awry. What problems are they likely to find? What kind of work changes have they encountered on similar projects? What could go wrong? Also, prepare financially. The remodeling association recommends setting aside an extra 10 percent over the contract price to account for costs coming in higher than expected.
A home remodel should be an exciting time for a family, which is why it is so important to do your homework before meeting with contractors.
If you are ready to take on a home remodel of your own give us a call at 800-498-1833 or 209-772-9200 and we will help you through every step of the process!
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