Whether you work with a general contractor or act as one during your interior remodeling project, getting some insight from a pro can really change your perspective. I have learned a lot from working as a contractor, and most of the lessons will help new homeowners too. What you do and how you do it is very important. A homeowner’s instinct can negatively impact a home remodeling project. How do you know if you’re helping or hurting?
Do Not Delay Decisions
If you want the remodel to go off without a hitch, the best things are to ask the hard questions up front and lay solid expectations. A good design-build company will walk you through a list of scenarios that could occur during your remodel, but decisions made throughout the process are what can cause major delays.
Don’t Change Your Mind
Even though it seems inevitable that you might change your mind, know this every time you change your mind, you’re changing the order. Which ultimately will affect your bottom line or budget. Scheduling can also be affected. Everyone involved would need to know so they are not working off of old plans. Everyone changes their mind sometimes. Just realize it could push your time frame back.
Don’t Buy Your Own Materials
It seems like an obvious way to save money – a builder will mark up the cost of materials and pass those savings onto your customer. The builder may get a better deal or price, to begin with, which means you still save money and time after the markup!
Don’t Put Lipstick on a Dog
Though some builders rarely say this, some houses should be leveled rather than renovated. Though this situation is far and few between, it’s very common for you to focus on pretty cabinets when the house has a foundation problem or replacing a furnace when your house needs better insulation. Listen to your professional when they make suggestions. They have your family’s best interest at heart. Be open to suggestions.
Don’t Work Without a Contingency Fund
If you find out that a change you wanted will cost more than you expected in your budget, this will ensure you’re in good company. It is never realistic to think that everyone will stay within the budget for interior remodeling. Don’t spend up your contingency to stretch your budget. If you follow rule number one ahead of time, you can probably get away with a 10% contingency.