Many people go into a renovation project excited and hopeful. Most end up stressed, disappointed and aggravated before it even ends. How do you make it a positive process that doesn’t run your bank account dry?
Go Small, Not Big: Having A Defined Endgame
Most people have big ideas when it comes to renovating their house. They want to renovate the entire kitchen, including cabinets, sink, tiling and fixtures–all at once. Now, this is possible if you have the right contractor working for you. However, sometimes it’s good to start with a small job to see how true your contractor is to his or her word. Then, as you develop trust, you can expand the project into something bigger. Many people hire a contractor who then changes the price down the road because other “problems” just happened to pop up. By then, you’re strung along for the ride. It’s a horrible feeling, we know.
Make sure to get at least three estimates before you hire any contractor. Furthermore, it’s your opportunity to interview them, so come with some questions. We suggest that you ask for a breakdown of all materials for the job, as well get some basics: insurance coverage, licensing documentation, background checks on employees, etc. It can easy to be persuaded by a charismatic contractor who makes you feel like everything you want is possible at some unreasonable price. You agree and because he’s being so good and helpful, you agree to give him half of the cost of the whole job–upfront! This is one of the worst things that you can possibly do, and you will probably find yourself without a paddle (you know where).
Get a Recommendation
We suggest that you look for a remodeling contractor that someone in your network of family, friends or neighbors has worked with, successfully. It is much easier than playing the internet research game, making dozens of phone calls and sifting through the riff-raff of contracting companies. Also, nothing beats reputation. If a company does a good job for someone you know, there’s a good chance they value referrals and are going to want to do an outstanding job for you, as well. In this day and age, reputation is everything. You can be very successful by providing a quality service in a consistent and professional manner.
A Guarantee In Writing
You also want to get a guarantee that your estimate will be the estimate for the whole project. Make sure to get this in writing. Some companies play that trick of low-balling you, hooking you in and then the price goes up dramatically during the project for an “unforeseen” chain of events that was, of course, beyond their control. Don’t fall for this trap; protect yourself!