Remodeling! What a fun task to undertake in any home! It is the essence of homeownership!
Almost every person purchases their home and dreams of all the cool changes they will make one day! Whether it’s simply to add value to your home, make the space better suited to your needs and style, add more usable space, or a combination of all three, remodeling your home is the perfect way to place your own personal touch and have some fun along the way!
That’s just it, however – while the process of remolding your home can be fun and exciting to think about, many times it gets to be tiring and not fun as you get deep into a project! To make matters worse, there are risks associated with making the commitment to remodel your home that many homeowners never even consider until it’s too late! Details like obtaining permits from the township, uncovering additional work and costs, materials and products that are damaged or back ordered, a contractor being too slow or of poor quality, the project taking longer than anticipated, and the list goes on and on!
Perhaps the most important risks to consider when taking on a remodeling project fall under two headings – Cost and Hiring a Bad Contractor! But by addressing these two risks at the front end of your remodeling project, we can take extra care to mitigate them before the project begins, and you can rest assured that your renovation will be completed at a fair price, within a reasonable schedule, and on budget, and all with safe job site practices and people in and around your home.
1)Cost!!! We all want to be treated equally and be provided a fair cost for a product or service, right? Well, unfortunately not every remodeling company out there has the same priority in their mind! Overpaying for anything can be really frustrating for the consumer, and when it comes to the service industry, where companies make their own costs, it can be easy to overpay if you’re not careful. Keep in mind that good, honest, custom, hard work never comes at a cheap cost! Just like they always say, “you get what you pay for”, this is more so the case in the service industry than anywhere else!
Engaging a large remodeling project in someone’s home is a huge undertaking for any company, and to do it right will cost the homeowners money, plain and simple! For instance, protection and containment, the most important part of any project, can add more than $1000 in materials and labor to a mid to large size renovation. This process is time-consuming and requires expensive, state of the art materials and tools to be effective. Another example of often unanticipated aspects of a remodeling project is fire blocking – a large expense for a basement remodel that many companies may leave out of their proposal and expect to include it as an “add-on” later in the project. In a large basement (i.e. 1000 sq ft or more), the process of fire blocking, done correctly and up to code requirements, can cost more than a few thousand dollars in materials and labor!
As you can see, with just two simple items, if the cost from a company is extremely good (low), then there may well be key items missing or the quality of the work may be poor!
The best way to make sure that you are not overpaying for your next project is to consult multiple reputable companies for the same service, thereby comparing apples to apples and truly understanding the cost. Make sure the companies you are interviewing are local, within an approximately 15-mile radius, and that they are reviewed by others and rated to be reliable, good contractors to work with.
Another great tip to make sure that you are not getting ripped off is to ask your neighbors! In person visits as well as social media sites like Facebook (with their local groups) and Nextdoor are perfect for this. Ask your neighbors what kind of projects they have done and how much they spent, as well as the type and quality of work that was performed. Sometimes reaching out to your community can be your best asset for reliable information, and its free!
If you compare 3 to 4 reliable companies, read their reviews, ask your neighbors, and research the market standards for associated costs you will mitigate your risk of paying too much for your project. You will likely always have variances in estimated costs on large projects of $50,000 or more – there can be differences ranging from as much as $5,000 to $8,000 simply based on individual companies’ operating expenses. Remember though, it’s not always about the cheapest company, it’s about making sure everything you asked for is included, and there is no hidden cost!
2) Hiring a bad company! To be honest, this is the most common issue I see and hear of in the industry – and the most perplexing as well, as it is also the easiest risk to avoid!
The first rule of thumb to follow when deciding if a company is one you want to work with is trusting your own intuition. Many people ignore this, but it’s usually a tell-tale sign of whether working with an individual or company is right for you! Did you feel comfortable with this person in your home? Did you feel comfortable with them around your children? Would you feel comfortable with them in your home when no one is home? Are they the kind of person you would normally associate with? All very simple questions, but If you could answer no to any of them, you should rethink your options.
It’s important that the company and person you are considering is trustworthy and someone you comfortable having around. After all, this person and their employees are going to be in your personal space for quite some time. Make sure to ask the company for references, check reviews on Google or Facebook, ask your neighbors if they or someone they know have used them, and so on.
Asking for insurance and state licensing up front is a must as well. It may seem simple, but if a company can’t keep these basic documents at arm’s reach upon request, there may be further issues to consider.
Using this 10-point checklist (and if they pass) can help keep you on the right track:
- License and insurance
- Subcontractors? If so, who are they and can you have their licenses as well?
- Break down of a timeline for the project
- 5-star reviews from at least 2 credible sources
- Recommended by someone in the area
- Has a current backlog and isn’t offering to start tomorrow
- Is willing to provide all the necessary permits
- Doesn’t want more than 10% of the project cost up front
- Does not offer you a lower price to try and get you to sign on the line (immediately deemed not trustworthy in my book)
- Finally, research a handful of involved, difficult questions about your project and see how they answer. For instance, a tiled shower floor is a very, very involved process. If your thinking of remodeling your master bathroom and this is part of the project, take the time to educate yourself and quiz your contractor. They should know exactly what they are doing while being able to walk you through the process step by step and describe the latest, best materials to be used – all while making you feel comfortable with their knowledge of the industry!
Remodeling risks are just part of the project! There are some that you simply can’t avoid entirely, but there are others that, with a little bit of due diligence on your part, can be avoided! Remember, performing a remodeling project in your home does not have to be a nightmare – unless of course, you hire the wrong company!
Our mission is to perform for our clients the highest level of quality construction/design services at fair and market competitive prices. To ensure the longevity of our company, through repeat and referral business, achieved by customer satisfaction in all areas including timeliness, attention to detail. and service-minded attitudes. Our mission is to also maintain the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, honesty, and fairness in our relationships with our suppliers, subcontractors, professional associates, and clients.