Have you noticed how many contractors are working in the neighborhoods these days? The summer season is remodel season – especially for homeowners who have put off their renovation work until the warmer months and for those who have taken advantage of the still-low interest rates and moved into a new home. It’s renovation season.
With all the crazy stories about home-renovations-gone-horribly-wrong, what’s a homeowner to do to ensure they have an excellent renovation experience?
The following are the top tips from contracting experts – the same guys working on your home – to homeowners who want to have a less stressful remodeling experience.
1. Make Decisions Quickly
If you want a remodel to go well, help your contractor out by making all the decisions that need to be made upfront then making decisions that crop up quickly. A good contractor will talk you through situations that arise during the job, but when he or she asks you for a decision make it as quickly as you can because delays – even on small decisions – means a balloon delay in a few days.
Couples may find it useful to appoint a decision-maker or keep their cell phones constantly at the ready so that decisions can be made together as fast as possible.
2. Know What’s Hidden Before You Start
It may sound nuts, but if you have an older home or one you suspect may have issues, like leaking pipes, or missing insulation, or anything else that’s hidden from sight, getting a pre-renovation infrared home inspection before starting the remodel can save you loads of disappointment and stress. If you skip this step, and your contractor finds a bigger problem than either of you expected after ripping out the flooring and drywall, you could be facing a bigger expense than you planned to pay. In short, a big problem you can’t see now could blow your remodel budget out of the water.
Plus, an infrared home inspection gives your contractor a real view of what’s going on inside those walls and under that floor so they can plan for what’s ahead and move the remodel along.
3. Don’t Change your Mind (at least not often)
Contractors understand that a homeowner’s change of mind is inevitable with some projects, but each change results in an order change and even minor changes can add up in costs and time. Scheduling is most affected when a homeowner changes their mind and everyone down the line needs to be informed so that everyone is working to the new plan. You may experience delays if the plumber you planned to have arrive next Tuesday is suddenly unavailable when the schedule slips, for example.
Keep your changes to a minimum and the remodel project will go more smoothly.
4. Keep Kids, Pets, and even Adults Away
Contractors will do their best to accommodate pets, kids, and people in the house, but it isn’t safe and it takes their attention away from what they’re doing if they have to keep an eye out for dangers. Depending on the extent of your remodel project, it might be best to take your family vacation while it’s going on. If moving out seems stressful and disruptive, think about how it’s going to feel having constant noise, dust, and strangers tramping through and tearing apart portions of your home.
These days, cell phone technology gives a contractor the ability to show you what’s going on without you having to be there. If you made all the decisions upfront and did your pre-reno home inspection, the project will go as smoothly as it can. If something unexpected arises, you can often make the decision from afar or drop by the house and handle it on your way home from work.
5. Don’t Distract the Workers
If you’re not in the home while work is going on, this isn’t much of a problem, but if you are living there while work is going on don’t distract the workers. That electrician gets his $30 an hour whether he’s finishing the job or chatting with your about SCUBA diving in Belize. If the conversation isn’t important to the job at hand, get out of their way and don’t cause distractions. Every minute they’re talking to you is another minute they’re not getting things done.
Andrew MacDonald can help homeowners discover what’s hidden before a renovation project gets started. He works throughout Algonquin, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and the surrounding areas. Give him a call today at 888-852-8298 to schedule your pre-renovation infrared inspection today.