Over the past few months we’ve been going through the steps in preparing for a home renovation. So far we’ve discussed some initial steps and hiring an architect or designer.
Next, let’s talk about choosing a contractor – something I think you should do as early in the process as possible. Enlisting the service of a qualified contractor helps keep the project grounded – from both construction and budget perspectives.
Having a contractor involved in your renovation project is essential for keeping the process moving forward as smoothly as possible. Rather than develop a number of amazing ideas and then be discouraged by the fact that a) it’s not physically possible or b) it’s possible but will cost way too much money, I strongly recommend having someone around from the start to work as a ‘check and balance’ in the process. A qualified contractor can realistically budget your ideas, and those of your designer and architect, so you can make plans that work for you.
On most home renovation shows the homeowners usually hit an ‘expensive and unexpected bump’ in the renovation process. This is usually for television drama, and in a real life scenario a lot of these obstacles would be spotted, pointed out, and worked through prior to the start of a project, when you have a good contractor on your team.
But contractors aren’t always the guys who say ‘no’ or ‘yikes’. The right contractor will help you understand what your budget can accomplish. They know how to get the biggest bang for the buck. A contractor can even coach you through whether or not your proposed renovation is a smart investment and how you can scale back the project so money is well spent and suitable for your home.
Contractors can also help you phase improvements over time or offer alternative approaches that will still give you the look and feel you want, but help you to stay within your budget.
The bottom-line? A qualified contractor – engaged early in your renovation project – is key to staying on track and on budget.
But remember, whoever you choose will be in your life before, during, and after your project – so make sure it’s a good fit. Trust and communication are essential when undertaking a home renovation.