Contractors work around your local schedule. Remember, they are receiving a hefty commission. So, meeting you at the job site after work or during your lunch break is what they do. Depending on your child, he or she will be either excited or upset at the prospect of major home improvements. Some children find the process upsetting because they feel their world is changing around them.
Others are so caught up in the thrill of the activity that little else matters to them. In any case, talk to your children before the project starts, describing the process in general, and stressing that this is all about a positive eventual outcome — a new pool, an addition, a larger living room, new floors — and not about destruction. If you enter a major home remodeling job knowing that it will put significant strain on your relationship, you are already off to a good start.
A remodeling project is a perfect storm where many factors clash: huge cash outlay, mess, diminished privacy. Protect your relationship by keeping the lines of communication open but giving each other ample breathing room when needed. If you live in a single-family detached home, you probably are not legally obligated to seek approval from your neighbors for your project.
Remodeling projects that touch the property line, like fences, are an exception. If you live in a condominium, you may need to seek approval from the board for remodeling projects within your walls. As a goodwill gesture, though, you should talk to your adjacent neighbors, informing them of your upcoming plans. Some homeowners believe that they should not have to lift a finger prior to their upcoming project.
What should you do? In general, it is unwise to do absolutely nothing prior to your remodel.
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Some prep work, such as clearing out rooms, is involved, and it is only to your benefit to do this yourself. Unless you have made prior arrangements with your contractor, you should not do any work during the course of the remodeling project. Contractors hate it when clients change things around at night or on weekends when the workmen are not around, as this impedes the workflow. Move Fragile and Precious Items: China, photos, artwork, electronics, and all other items that you do not want to get broken or dusty should be moved by you out of the work area and into safe zones see below.
Clear Rooms of Large Items: What about the big stuff, like sofas, cabinets, large rugs? If you are capable, the best-case scenario is for you to remove these items from the work zone and seal them tightly in plastic sheeting. If you are not capable, speak to the contractor about this. For a nominal fee, the contractor may agree to have some of the workers perform this task for you. Keep Your Items Safe From Theft or Misplacement: Whether located in the work area or not, any items of monetary value — jewelry, cash, precious metals, even some prescription drugs — should be removed from the home and placed in a safe deposit box.
If you have a home safe, store them there. Even though workmen are invading certain areas of your home, this does not mean that they can go anywhere and do anything. Contractors will usually order up portable toilets for large-scale projects, like building an addition. But in most other remodeling projects, there will be no toilet. It is your decision about whether to allow workmen to use yours. A hole in the calendar doesn't necessarily mean trouble; maybe they were injured or taking time off.
The contractor's openness and willingness to give you more information can help ease your mind. Try to read between the lines of what the person tells you; they may not want to say anything unkind. Choose people who seem open and forthcoming, whose projects are similar to yours and, ideally, who live close to you. Visit at least one finished project from each of your remaining top contenders. Ask the person if it has ever needed servicing or repairs.
Assembling Your Dream Team: Tips for Finding a Contractor
Red flags Depending on the type of project, there are a few red flags to look for:. The next step is to price the job with all of the remaining contractors on your list.
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After a thorough consultation, each contractor will present you with a brief proposal and estimated cost for the project, called a bid. Depending on the type of renovation, this might include details on the timeline for the project, the types of materials they recommend and the total cost of the project. You will select your contractor from among these bids. Think about your overall goals for your renovation when choosing which proposal is best for you.
Red flags Be wary of any contractor who tries to pressure you into accepting a bid. Some contractors will try to pressure you into signing right away by saying their bids are only good for a limited time. You always have the option to think about the bid for a few days or longer.
Top 8 Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor
It's up to you to do your homework to find a skilled and ethical contractor for your home improvement project. Research each contractor thoroughly, and feel free to take your time to make the best decision for your home. Rosemary Avance, Ph. She researches products, businesses and industries thoroughly, then passes on the most relevant and essential information for consumers looking to make important purchasing decisions. ConsumerAffairs Research Team. Step 1: Get recommendations The first step in finding the right home improvement contractor is to create a list of 10—15 local contractors who have the right expertise.
Its potential, however, is unlimited. Whether you want to turn your garage into a new bedroom, den or rec room, your options are plentiful. If you have already submitted a project request, enter your project number and email address below to view the status of your project.
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