Thinking of Remodeling Your Home?
Think your remodeling project through from start to finish. Careful planning of your home improvement projects will enable you to update your home, increase the value of your investment and customize your living space; all for a lot less than the cost of a new home.
Look over your property carefully. What repairs are needed? What improvements would you like to make? Think ahead and determine your future needs. Professional remodeling contractors can help you in your planning by outlining options and discussing the improvements you can make within your budget.
Design and function should be foremost in your mind if you’re thinking of adding a room or converting an existing room. Give thought to details such as: where you want electrical outlets, telephone jacks and cable hook-ups located; the type of lighting required; your current and future storage needs; and whether you want to include luxury items. These details will enable your remodel to better suit your needs and lifestyle. A professional remodeler should be consulted about design and function of any remodeling project. He or she can also help you with time and money-saving hints.
Lastly, be sure to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make adjustments for the added value of the work being done.
12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor
1. Get at least three written estimates.
2. Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
4. Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
5. Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
7. Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
11. Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.
A good place to start your search for a contractor is to ask friends or colleagues if they have experienced working with one and get recommendations. Interview them, and get customer references before deciding which contractor to help you in remodeling your home. Your agent may also have some quality referrals for remodeling.
Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.