Usually, renovating your home or apartment all begins with a dream. Bigger closets, New Bathroom, New Kitchen, More room in general, etc. Unfortunately, for some, their dreams turn into nightmares due to poor planning and the wrong choice of contractor. Before you renovate your sanctuary, please read the steps below to ensure that your remodeling project gets off to the right start and remains on track throughout it's duration. Many people focus on how much it costs and not the most important factor, which is who the contracting company is. Cost is secondary when it comes to finding the right company for your project.
1. Get Your Thoughts on Paper
Prior to consulting an architect, it is a good idea to begin drawing and writing down your ideas as you imagine your newly remodeled home or apartment. If you are enlarging a kitchen or bathroom, think about how the new larger space will be used and how the changes will affect other areas of your home. Also consider how a larger kitchen or bath will affect the overall look of your home. A huge kitchen may overwhelm the adjacent rooms. Speak to a professional to gain further insight on this.
2. Learn From Others
The best way to get inspiration and to avoid pitfalls is to follow the experiences of other home or apartment owners who have had work done in their homes. Click our links below to read other pages on our site to help get yourself familiarized with contractors, the renovation process, and how not to get burnt.
3. Count Your Money
Make certain that your budget allows for 20% overage. Most likely you will want to add other items while the work is in process. Before you envision having exotic tile or stone on your floors and or walls, find out how much you have to spend and again, make sure you have a good cushion for cost overruns.
4. Select Your Contractor
Don't hire a contractor based on lowest price alone. The basis of a contractor's price is important. Do not simply hire a contractor with the lowest estimate. Examine and breakdown each estimate. Is the price of materials low compared to other estimates? The materials could be inferior. If one contractor's price is lower than another's his standard of professionalism and workmanship may not be up to par with a more qualified contractor. Or the contractor may have made a mistake on the price. Weigh all factors-price quote, references, professionalism, and most important, your gut feeling before making a decision.
5. The Contract With Your Contractor
Whether you are having some simple carpentry work done or a major renovation project requiring the services of an architect and a general contractor, misunderstandings can lead to one of the biggest nightmares of your life. Under no circumstances should you allow anyone to begin any type of work in your home or apartment without a clear and precise written contract. Make sure all parties agree on the actual work that will be completed and the time frame it is going to be completed in. Exceptional contractors put penalties to them in their contracts should they not complete the work on time. Obviously, these penalties are due to their doings, and not things which they can not control, such as back ordered materials, the elements, changes by owners to their projects, etc. Also be crystal clear on the exact materials that will -- and will not -- be used.
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6. Get Permission
A building permit is required before you make structural changes to your home. This means taking down interior non load bearing walls as well in your home or apartment. The building permit assures that the renovation project will be done in a such a way as to meet all local building codes and safety regulations. If you live in a landmark building or house, the permit also assures that exterior changes to your home are in keeping with neighborhood guidelines. Your General Contractor will usually take care of the filings for these permits, but small time workers may not, and the permits are your responsibility.