So you’ve decided to remodel your home! And you’re determined to be smart about it. You’ve heard the horror stories about contractors running off with five-figure sums and new kitchens being ripped out because they didn’t pass inspection. None of that will happen to you! You’ll take precautions! Or so you think.
Sometimes the things we do to avoid a certain outcome simply make that outcome more likely. Here are 11 things you may be doing to avoid a renovation nightmare — that may well lead you straight into one.
1. Withholding funds. It seems like a sound plan at first — you don’t have a guarantee that your home renovator contractor will finish the job once you’ve paid the balance, so you’ll hold onto that last 5 percent as a guarantee. Wrong. If you say, “I’ll withhold 5 percent until I’m satisfied with the work,” the contractor just prices everything with a 5 percent increase, so if they don’t complete the project, they’ve still made their money. If a contractor needs to fix something at the end, he’ll do it on reputation. Plus if you retain more than 5 percent, the contractor will struggle to finish your project, because he can’t pay his overhead.
2. Buying the materials yourself. ”But I can shop around and make sure I get the best price!” you may be saying. Not so. Your contractor can get trade discounts and share them with you. Some will even accompany you to the store. Trying to shop yourself is just asking for a higher price quote — plus when items don’t arrive, or arrive and they’re wrong, the contractor loses coordination of the project, meaning pushed back schedules, late completions, and loads of mess.
3. Not planning out the entire project from the beginning. You may say, “I don’t need to make my mind up about the kitchen tiles right now, I want freedom to choose later on!” Unfortunately, you’re setting yourself up for serious hassle when you and your contractor get fuzzy on what was agreed upon two months later. Plus it means you’ll be making decisions under stress in the middle of a renovation. It’s much easier to delay the start of a project, so you can take your time making all the decisions in advance — otherwise, you’ll regret it.
4. Not specifying the details early on. Often, there’s a rush to get going with a project, and it may seem unnecessary to spend time picking countertops and light fixtures. But again, the more you communicate and specify precisely what the project will be from the get-go, the less you have to deal with ambiguity and confusion down the line.
Read more in part II
By : Fraser Patterson