Once you get the financing to make your home renovation project a reality, it’s time to get down to work. Just how do you manage such a large project without getting overwhelmed? How do you choose the right contractors and keep track of everything going on?
Read our guide on the top ways to manage your project with ease.
Do Your Research
We know it can be tempting to reach out to the first contractor that you find with availability or to choose the cheapest contractor that you find, but that’s not in your best interest. Instead, take your time and do your research. We recommend that you obtain referrals from friends or relatives that used the contractors before as well as use the reviews others provide online.
As you do your research, you’ll also want to interview the contractors yourself. Again, we know it’s so much easier to contract services online and believe that what you read is true, but you won’t know if you truly click with a contractor and if you have the same work ethic until you speak to him/her in person.
Some of the questions you should ask include:
- What is your workload like?
- Can the contractor meet your deadlines?
- Does the contractor have experience in the particular renovations you want?
- Does the contractor have proof of the work he has done before?
- Will he supply references?
Know What Goes into the Bid
Anyone can spew an attractive bid at you in the hopes of earning your business, but what’s included in that bid? This is the information that you need.
Ask specifics about what the contractor includes in the bid. Even better, ask what isn’t included in the bid. Are there extra costs for working weekends or nights? Are there extra costs for installation or removal of necessary items? Are there cleanup costs? Are insurance and permits included in the cost? These are just a few of the general questions you should ask to make sure you aren’t slapped with an unpleasant surprise bill at the end of the renovations.
It’s important for you and the contractors to be on the same page. As a part of your contract, you should include specific deadlines for each phase of work. This will cut out some of the stress on the project for you.
For example, if you know the project should be done in 3 months, but 2 months into it, you notice the contractor isn’t even halfway done, you may start to worry. Rather than making one large deadline, break it down into smaller and more manageable pieces. You can determine which exact benchmarks you need based on your project. Is there demolition and framing involved? Is there electrical wiring involved? Are any inspections necessary? These are all great stopping points and great ways to measure the progress of the project.
Don’t Pay Upfront
If there’s one thing that keeps contractors motivated, it’s money. Don’t make the mistake of paying for an entire project upfront. What’s there to keep the contractor doing the work? He could take the money and leave town.
Instead, pay a small amount upfront in order for the contractor to purchase any necessary supplies and to get ready to start the project. You can then set disbursement dates that coincide with the deadlines. At each disbursement date, you can pay a prorated portion of the total cost of the project. Don’t make the final payment until you have completed all necessary inspections and are 100% satisfied with the work.
Make Sure Each Contractor Has Insurance
If there’s one thing every contractor needs before they work on your home renovation project, it’s insurance. What if something were to go wrong? It could be something with your home or something happening to the contractor himself. If he’s on your property, he could hold you liable if he doesn’t have proper insurance. This could set you back financially, putting your project on hold.
Rather than take a chance, ask to see a copy of each contractor’s insurance. Make sure it’s valid and that the amount covers the scope of work that the contractor will do at your home. This way you know that you have coverage should unforeseen circumstances occur.
Take Your Time
The most important thing you can do when planning a home renovation project is to take your time. This is a big decision and something that can affect your investment down the road. Do your research, shop around, and make sure you are comfortable with the contract that you sign with the contractors.
If you have multiple contractors working on the property, you’ll need to keep very careful records so that you don’t miss something. It’s ideal if you can find one general contractor that can oversee the entire project, but if that’s not feasible for you, it’ll be up to you to handle the work and to make sure that everyone is on the same page throughout the entire process.
Managing a home renovation project can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Take your time choosing your contractors and making decisions regarding the work that they do. In the end, it’s your investment, so you have the final say in what happens with your home renovation.
Meta Description: Managing your home renovation project is almost more stressful than finding the financing to make it happen. Learn the top ways to manage your home renovation project stress-free.