How to Hire a Remodeler
You want to hire a remodeler, but where do you begin?
The Inside Scoop on How to Evaluate a Professional Remodeler
The hardest part in evaluating a remodeler is knowing exactly what to look for and ask. This detailed list will help you decide with confidence who is the best professional for your home.Business Experience and Management
Does the remodeler:
How to Evaluate a Home Remodeler's References
Before you sign a contract, ask the remodeler to share names, phone numbers, and/or e-mail addresses of some customers and take the time to see the remodeler's work. Ask to see jobs similar to yours. Does the quality of the work meet your standards?Ask the homeowners:
Final Guidelines Before Hiring a Remodeler
You’re almost there, but there are a few final steps before taking the plunge.
Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the remodeler and confident that this company will do the work according to your plans, budget, and specifications.If you are satisfied with the answers to your questions, ask for a written estimate of the work to be done based on a set of plans and specifications. Be prepared to pay for this package. If the estimated cost of the project is more than you can afford, see if you can trim something from the project or postpone part of it so you can still work with a professional remodeler.
Ask the remodeler to explain the plans, specifications, and company procedures to you. For instance, once construction begins, how does the company handle changes to the initial design, choice of materials, or schedule?
If you compare your estimate with another, be sure each one is based upon the same set of plans, specifications, and scope of work. If your remodeler suggests any deviations, ask the remodeler to present them as options separate from the main proposal.
Find out whether the remodeler uses a detailed, written contract that protects both of you and that complies with local, state, and federal laws. The contract must spell out the work that will and will not be performed and provide a fair payment schedule.
Select the remodeler with a track record of a variety of excellent projects and plenty of experience with your type of project. Beware of an exceptionally low price.
If you have completed all the steps on how to evaluate a remodeler, congratulations! You can now choose with confidence the best professional home contractor for your project
Work with a Professional
Since you’ve done the hard work of evaluating and hiring a professional, the next step is ensuring your home remodel goes smoothly.
Live with Your Remodel: The only thing left is the remodeling itself. Learn how to adapt to your home as a work site, communicate with your remodeler, and schedule your project for a smooth remodeling experience.
Preventing Remodeling Fever
The train-station atmosphere of a remodeling project can lead to remodeling fever. The main symptom of this temporary affliction is feeling a loss of control that results from disrupted routines and the impact on your personal space.
The best way to prevent this fever is to prepare well, remember that "This too shall pass," and focus on the progress being made. A few other suggestions from remodeling pros:
Prepare for inconvenience. A remodeling project can turn your home and -- on some days -- your life upside down. A kitchen remodel will, of course, affect meal planning, but a little ingenuity and some culinary shortcuts can lessen the impact. Set up a temporary cooking quarters by moving the refrigerator, toaster oven, and microwave to another room. Arrange a dishwashing station in your laundry room. If the weather is warm, fire up the grill and dine alfresco.
Designate a safe haven in your home where you can escape from the chaos and commotion.
Guard against dust. During a remodeling project, dust has the unfortunate tendency to appear everywhere from lampshades to plates stacked inside your kitchen cabinets. To keep out as much dust as possible:
Maintain a sense of humor. Remember that certain things are out of your control and it's best to laugh rather than upset yourself about things like the weather or delayed delivery of materials. See the remodeling process as an adventure. Tell the kids that you are "camping in" and transform inconvenience into fun. Along the way, celebrate as different stages of the project are completed. The day the drywall is completed, for instance, could be marked by a nice dinner out!
Homeowner Remodeling Etiquette
While remodeling can be an exciting adventure, it’s important to remember that neighbors may not be quite as thrilled with the project as you are. While a professional remodeler will help lessen the impact on those living by you, here are some additional tips to help keep the peace in the neighborhood:Let neighbors know well in advance about your remodeling plans and keep them apprised of progress, detail by detail. Tell them when work will begin, the approximate completion date, what work will be done, and whether workers might have to come onto their property. If delays arise, promptly contact your neighbors to inform them of the revised schedule.
Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Reasonable hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Inform your neighbors of any large trucks entering the neighborhood and ask subcontractors to park on one side of the street only. Try your best to have materials dropped off in your driveway or yard rather than the street, and keep your yard as tidy as possible. Watch for debris that might find its way onto your neighbors' yards, especially if a roofing project is involved.
Remove dumpsters as quickly as possible. If you have room left in your last dumpster, invite neighbors to dump anything they might have lurking in their garage that needs tossing.
If the neighbors are unhappy with an aspect of your project, promptly visit them to apologize. Consider bringing a peace offering such as brownies or muffins. When your project is complete, show your neighbors your appreciation by throwing them a party. You can thank them for their patience and proudly show off your remodeled house.