Almost any remodeling can be a trying time for a homeowner – especially if they engage a number of different vendors to do the work and act as the general contractor. Still, a little time and effort can go a long way in reducing the cost and the aggravation. Here are just a few things a homeowner should know about the process:
Get multiple bids – Contractors are in business to make money. That should not be a surprise and you should not begrudge them the fact. Still, some contractors are fairly rapacious while most are very fair in their estimates. Ensure that you request multiple bids – all with the same specifications! – to get the best deal with the highest quality. When you finally decide, also get a written contract. It protects both you and the contractor.
Check their paperwork – In almost every state, remodeling contractors are required to acquire a license. Ensure that you ask the contractor for their license number as well as their proof of insurance and a surety bond. These three documents serve as a form of insurance to protect you if the contractor fails to pay for permits, complete the job properly doesn’t meet their financial obligations to subcontractors.
Meet the foreman – The salesperson will probably want to stay as your chief point of contact but it is essential to be on speaking terms with the job site foreman. He can make decisions far faster and with more expertise than the salesperson. Make it a deal breaker – if the contractor stipulates that you must deal with the home office and not the person actually in charge of the folks working on your home, tell them, “No deal!”
Start with the ceiling – Any decent contractor will start a project at the top. That is,, he will complete the remodeling of the ceiling first, move to the walls and finally end with the floor. If you notice that this progression does not occur, you are not dealing with professionals. It is just common sense as newer work will not damage older, already completed areas. One exception is, the installation of appliances in a kitchen which is usually left for last.
Avoid change orders – Really, avoid these like the plague. The contractor doesn’t like them and you don’t need the extra cost. The whole process usually involves ripping out recently completed work so you get to pay for work in the same space twice while the contractor fells bad for having to charge you. Much better is to think twice, pay once. This is the homeowner;s responsibility, not the contractor’s.
Finish with the flooring – Finally, it is time to wrap up the job. The contractor will sweep one last time, remove all the debris and install the carpet, tile or wood that will make up your floor. It should be obvious why you are leaving this step for last. There will be little or no need to walk across your newly installed floor with muddy or dusty boots.
As you can see, a remodeling project need not be daunting nor aggravating. Do your homework upfront and you can relax and enjoy the process while the contractor does the work. For more information on these remodeling and other facts in particular or on home improvement topics in general, please visit us at Great Western Flooring Co. Find us online at www.greatwesternflooring.com or speak with us directly.