Home improvement or home renovation can be a stressful ordeal. From selecting your custom home builder, to picking out room colors and reviewing flooring samples, to withstanding the tear down and waiting for your home to be rebuilt. Throughout the entire process, keep in mind some valuable advice to help you keep your sanity.
- Know the contractor’s credentials
Always hire a custom home builder who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Proof of worker’s compensation insurance or a valid exemption card issued by the State of Florida are a must. This will help protect you if a worker is injured during renovations. Being a part of a local or national builder organization is an additional bonus, but you can still find reputable companies without one.
- Keep in touch with your contractor
Find a home renovation contractor who is willing to maintain constant correspondence. Like all instances in life, communication is key. Being able to relay your thoughts and feelings throughout the process will allow you to provide input when something is not to your liking. That way it can be corrected before it is too late.
- Stick to your budget
Advise the custom home builder what your budget is and the type of design or renovation you are looking to do. Inspiration photos are always a great way to communicate your vision. This will aid your builder in making sure they are using the correct materials that your budget allows. Get a detailed breakdown of construction categories and their associated costs to avoid overpaying. Going over budget may put you in a difficult financial position and possibly delay the completion of your project.
- You get what you pay for
Although you need to stay in budget, going with a “cheaper” home renovation contractor does not mean you will get the same quality of work or materials from another, more expensive custom home builder. Find a quality home remodeling contractor, based off work ethic, credentials, and experience, not based on dollar signs. A cheaper custom home builder may use materials made of less quality. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your family’s home.
- Get your contract in writing
Keeping accurate records regarding your custom home build can help protect you should an issue arise. Be sure to form a written contract between you and the home remodeling company you have selected. The contract between you and the home remodeling company should include the home contractor’s license number, names of the individuals or subcontract companies involved in the home renovation, a general project description, detailed time frame, total cost and payment arrangements. Your contract should also include an itemized list of materials to be used and the cost of labor and materials to be charged.
- Know what is required for your custom home renovation
Although your custom home contractor will apply for and acquire the necessary permits, as a responsible home owner, you should know which permits or special regulations are required for the remodeling on your home. Ignorance of the requirements or failure to comply with special regulations can fall back on the homeowner, leaving you responsible for the consequences. This is another reason why you should ensure that you select an experienced, licensed, bonded, and insured home renovation company.
- Prep for renovation
Remove furniture or other possessions, especially valuables from any areas that work crews will have access to. Review samples and select the colors or styles in advanced so that when it is time to apply these upgrades, your home contractor is not delayed waiting on your selections. Some of the contractors supplies may need to be left overnight, so set aside a secure area for them to store their things; the easier it is for them to set up, the faster they can get their work completed.
- Prepare your neighbors
As a courtesy, warn neighbors of the impending construction – including the loud sounds and possible road blockage from incoming and outgoing work trucks. Also, if their yard is needed for construction access to your home, be sure to have arrangements made with your neighbors, included recompenses, for any damage done to the access point.
- Demolition should be timely
Make sure that all materials are purchased and on hand as well as any equipment needed to install before beginning demolition. You don’t want to break ground only to realize you cannot continue until certain materials are ready. This can prolong the renovation timeline.
- Review your remodel
Throughout the process, you should be in contact with your home renovation company and have several opportunities to review the work done to your property. This will allow you to make any changes as the work is done. Also, do a final walk through once the work is complete to ensure everything is done to the expectation set prior to demolition. Make sure that all payments are made to your home renovation company and request documentation to release you of any liability of non-payment.