The toughest part of being a homeowner is planning a home renovation project. Whether it is just the kitchen or a water-damaged basement, the work is not the food for nightmares, finding the right home improvement service that can do the work meticulously is. Any homeowner’s sweetest dream is finding a contractor who will do the job from start to finish while maintaining the same excellent quality.
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Is an excellent home remodeling service right for you?
Sometimes, for even the best contractors, home improvement can be really stressful. Homeowners fail to understand that improvement projects have a lot of personal requirements that vary between houses and their owners. Thus, a 5-star rated home improvement service that may have worked for their colleague may not work for them. Hiring home improvement contractors is not as easy as online shopping where people can look through items and just buy one with the highest ratings.
Don’t get us wrong. Ratings and reviews do matter in home renovations and remodel. If your contractor has a high rating, it just shows that he has many successful projects and highly satisfied clients in the past. It is a foolproof display of his potential. Now, you need to harness this potential by utilizing your communication channels. You need to talk to your contractor and see if your visions match before you can hire the team. If the communication is not there, chances are you will never end up with what you envision.
How much do you have to spend?
Once you are sure you are on the same ground, you can start talking about money. Budget is significant for home improvement projects. Well, homes are indeed investments, but you need to keep things real. You cannot plan a $30,000 remodeling with just $3000 in your account. Home improvement projects are versatile. With the modern amenities and remodeling options, it is likely that a good contractor will always have something within your budget. Include your contractor in the budgeting process if you want a more realistic estimate of your expenses. Be very specific about the materials, their brands and how you would like to use them.
Who will be doing all the work?
After you have checked out at least three contractors and interviewed them, you can go with someone you think is best for you. Consider their experience, budget, and planning before you make your choice. Once that is done, ask them how much work will the contractor’s employees do and how much will be allotted to the subcontractors. It is an important question that all homeowners should be asking their prospective home improvement companies directly. You can get an employee list from the contractor to ensure that employees who are on a payroll are doing all the improvement and remodeling work.
Read and understand before you sign
Now it is time for the paperwork. You may think that it is quite easy since the selection and screening part is complete. Well, that not what the experts say. Your paperwork should spell out everything in detail. The contract should contain all the work that is going to be done, the deadlines of individual subprojects, the materials and the quantities that are going to be used in the projects, the suppliers who will be providing the material and the methods of payments. Having a clear and detailed paperwork will save you a lot of trouble and confusion once the work begins. If your builder’s contract is not transparent enough, you can always draft your own with the help of online agents. You can also get a lawyer friend to help you out with this. Any subsequent changes in the plan or project should generate written orders, which include the details of the new work and the relevant cost.
Always hold on to the receipts
What is your insurance status? You need to have an active homeowner’s insurance. Find out what your insurance policy covers and then find out how much your contractor’s business insurance covers. Always get copies of their insurance policy and verify them. You also need to keep the copies of all receipts, lien releases and invoices of raw materials during the process. If your contractor fails to pay their employees, they can plainly put a mechanic’s lien against your home.
Talk and talk every day
Communication is the key. Just talking to the contractor before the project begins is surely not enough. You need to speak frequently. Talking every day is the key to finding out about the job progress, next day’s plans, added costs, labor status and recurring issues. Even the most experienced and well-trained contractors can make mistakes. Spotting an error and cleaning it up is much easier than tearing down the new insulation of the entire basement to introduce a new electric board. If you see a mistake, speak up! It makes the job a lot easier for them and the process a lot smoother for you.