Tips to an Uneventful Construction Project
Even when things go wrong, the home remodeling shows you love watching always have everything neatly tied up at the end of the 30-minute show. They give you a false sense of just how easy it is to hire a contractor for a big home improvement project to transform your home into everything you’ve been dreaming about.
The reality is often different. Surprise structural problems, hold-ups due to late product delivery, and unmet expectations are just a few of the issues that can go wrong with any construction project.
You may not be able to avoid all problems, but our tips should help you get the best results when working with a general contractor.
Clearly Communicate with the Contractor
A lot of problems occur because of miscommunication. You say that you want “an addition” or a “spa-like bathroom” but the image that you have in your head may not match up with the image in the contractor’s head. Be incredibly specific when you talk about the plans so that there are no mistakes.
It’s a good idea to have some pictures of things that you like as a starting point. Don’t forget to talk about the goals that you have for the remodeling project. If the contractor knows that part of your goal is to bring more natural light into the home, she’ll make sure that the design of the addition makes that possible.
Listen to Expert Advice
On the flip side, make sure that you’re listening to any advice that the general contractors have to give you. Sometimes, the idea that you have could work, but some slight changes to the design could make the project more affordable or more convenient.
With their experience, home contractors will be thinking about things like incorporating your idea into the current structural design of the home. If you’re budget-conscious, they may even be able to suggest alternative materials that will give you the look you want for less money.
Plan for Problems
It’s frustrating when your home remodel goes over budget or takes longer than you were told. Think about planning for the unexpected so that you don’t get quite so frustrated. For instance, most experts suggest that you’ll want to have an additional 10 percent saved for your project to account for any unexpected costs that might come up. So if you’re planning a $20,000 remodel, have an extra $2,000 on hand. As you make your design decisions, though, remember that your budget is really $20,000 — not $22,000. Otherwise, you might go over the $22,000 you’ve saved.
Additionally, mentally add a week or more once the construction management team tells you how long it will take to complete the project. If they finish on time or earlier than expected, you can be pleasantly surprised. If they take longer, you were planning for it.
When you’re flexible, it’s easier to complete the project on time and on budget. This is especially true when problems crop up. Are the countertops you selected back-ordered and won’t be in for another month? Think about switching to a style with a slightly different design. Did the contractor discover a leaky pipe when they broke down the wall? Agree to fix it and be grateful that you discovered the problem before you incurred too much damage.
If you’re not willing to go with the flow, you may need to settle for a longer timeline or higher cost than you had planned.
Clarify Work Expectations
Are you going to be living in your home while the home remodeling contractor is doing the work? Be sure to set some limits that you can both agree to. For instance, if you leave for work at 8:00 a.m. each day, you might ask that workers don’t arrive until 8:30 so that they’re not in your way as you’re getting ready. If you’ll be home with the kids, think about whether the work is going to interrupt naptime and how you’re going to keep the kids safe.
You should also set some expectations for cleanliness during and after the project. A good contractor will leave your home looking great when they’re done, but you probably also want some assurance that you won’t be dealing with a lot of construction debris in the house while the project is going on.
Most importantly, when you work with an experienced general contractor like DM Building, you won’t have to worry about unexpected problems ruining your day. We work closely with you to make sure that you get the remodel you want.