In the life of every homeowner comes the time when he asks himself this question: Does my house need some home improvement jobs? In most of the cases the answer is yes, especially when he plans on selling the property. Although such a home improvement project can prove to be more than a rewarding project, it can also cause a lot of problems that can be very difficult to resolve. For this particular reason, we will now offer you some tips regarding how a home improvement project should look like and what problems you must avoid:
o References – We strongly advise all homeowners to search for the right contractor because he is the heart of the entire project. We recommend that you immediately walk away when the contractor doesn’t want to provide references from former clients. Online searching is the perfect tool for such a task and we encourage all homeowners to use websites that offer such services.
o Project Management – You will need one person that will help you manage your home improvement project. Most of the problems occur when inexperienced homeowners are stubborn and want to manage their own project. A project manager is a single point of contact between the homeowner and the other contractors and is entirely responsible for workflow and scheduling.
o Changes – During the duration of the project, you may want to change your mind regarding some aspects of the project and want to make a few changes that will require more or less work from the hired contractors. We strongly advise homeowners to document every change order and note the exact savings or additional costs. The changes should be dated and signed by all the implicated parties.
o Plans – It is highly advisable to obtain a crystal clear description on what will be done, how it will be done and what materials will be used for the project. For small-sized projects, the contractors usually draw up plans while for the larger and more complicated projects, it is recommended to hire an architect or a qualified designer.
o Contracts – Do everything you can so that the contract is rock solid. We suggest that you put all the details in writing (never take somebody’s word for granted). Here are some of the most critical items that should be included in every contract: company’s full name and the person’s full name along with contact information; an addendum consisting of the complete set of plans; warranties; signatures; start/completion date; prices of services/goods; manner & terms of payment and others as well.
o Warranty – You must make sure that you will obtain a warranty with fully detailed terms and conditions. In order to avoid the confusion as to who is responsible for the warranty, we suggest that you get the following items in writing: Who is backing the warranty? How long is the warranty valid for? What is/isn’t covered by the warranty?
o Financing and payments – Before you make the deal think about how you will pay for the project. Make sure you have total control of your money (never let the contractor or project manager handle your money). Some tips regarding this issue: never pay a lot of money at the start; pay after the materials have arrived; pay when the work starts and as it progresses;
We hope that these tips will help you manage your home improvement project efficiently without any real issues in terms of costs, quality and time. A home improvement project is very important for any homeowner that is why we advise all homeowners to be very careful when choosing contractors, materials and when they set up the contract.