Making improvements and alterations to your home is an exciting way to beautify your surroundings, make daily life more comfortable and convenient, and even add value to your property. But home improvement projects can require a significant investment of both time and money, so it's important to do everything you can to give your project the best odds of success. Here are some tips for making sure you get the outcome you want when working with home improvement contractors.
Choose Your Contractor Carefully
This is crucial. Do plenty of research before making a decision; ask for references and talk to people who have used the contractor on previous projects. Check out trusted rating and review sites. Find out about licensing requirements in your area and be sure that the contractor you're considering is licensed, qualified, and insured as required by local ordinances.
Be Clear About The Scope Of The Project
It's very important that you be perfectly clear on the scope of the work you want done. Take the time to learn a bit about what the project will actually require; for instance, know if demolition will be necessary, whether replumbing or rewiring will be involved, etc. Find out if subcontractors will be involved and if so, make sure they're also licenced, certified, and insured as required by local ordinance. Doing some homework before the project starts can prevent unpleasant and expensive surprises later.
Set A Reasonable Budget
Set a reasonable budget for your project, communicate it clearly to your contractor, and be prepared to stick to it. Get a written contract that covers all pertinent information, including estimated start and finish dates, a detailed list of all materials to be used, and a payment schedule for the contractor and any subcontractors or suppliers involved in the project.
Keep Good Records
Set up a project folder where you will keep all paperwork related to the project. File copies of the contract, any change orders, payment records, and a record of all communications between you and your contractor, including a log of all phone calls. You may also want to include photos of the work as it progresses.
Following these simple hints can go a long way toward ensuring that your project goes smoothly, comes in on time and on budget, and delivers the improvements you're looking for.