Deep breathes, remodeling doesn’t have to be stressful.
If the thought of halting your busy life to remodel your home fills you with stress you’re not alone. Remodeling can be overwhelming. Many homeowners have to ask themselves: do you face the pains of remodeling head on rather than jockey for mirror time every morning for the rest of forever? With so much going on in your day-to-day already, it may feel easier to deal with a home that’s not quite right than be bogged down with one more gargantuan thing, right?
Not at all! Planning out a remodel doesn’t have to be a time, energy and money-suck on your life. Follow these strategies to make remodeling not only bearable, but the only reasonable option!
Schedule Your Remodel During An Off Time
Summers are crazy for contractors. Every client wants to take advantage of the good weather and avoid the freezing temperatures, but that also means that your contractor is going to be swamped. Contractors get overwhelmed with work, just like you, and sometimes leads them to not come in on time or on budget.
You’ll get undivided attention from your contractor when you schedule your remodel when they’re not busy and during their downtime. You’ll not only get more attention, but coming in under budget and getting a good craftsman will be easier.
Know Your Quirks And Listen To Your Peeves
Do you already know what kind of work style you like? Are you going to be okay with your contractor and their crew being in your home for weeks? Don’t skimp on reading reviews and interviewing each contractor’s references! Skimming won’t cut it when it comes to potential added stress.
Ask potential contractors for references and cross check what they say about their timeliness, working style and communication style. Are they into pumping tunes while they work? Do they leave you be or will the crew seek out chitchat? Finding a professional that does phenomenal work and is a good fit will take some time on the front end, but will help prevent the hair on your head from falling out later.
Look Beyond The Bottom Line When It Comes To Bids
Picking the lowest estimate may seem like a no brainer, but that’s not always the case. Stick with the rule of threes when asking for bids; get at least three! Looking beyond the bottom line of the bid can cover solutions to pesky problems like clean up and insurance for scratched floors, or working odd hours to fit your work schedule. Picking the contractor that offers an a la carte of amenities over a bargain may eliminate those stress headaches that come with some remodels.
Avoid all headaches by asking up front if the bid includes drop cloths and scaffolding installation and removal. Hidden fees may creep up on projects, making them go up to 20 or 30 percent over budget! Be sure to ask if you’ll be responsible for any undocumented costs.
Take The Pampered Approach
Hiring a professional project manager may seem like an unnecessary expense. You’re not totally wrong; you can field calls from contractors about the thermostatic valve issues during a work meeting. Or, you can pay a professional with experience in your particular type of project.
Overseeing the idiosyncrasies of a remodel can be overwhelming, so spend the extra money (Median hourly wage is $46) for peace of mind and lower blood pressure.
Let Contractors Take Care Of Permits
Keeping track on permit deadlines and historic review board appointments can quickly escalate into a second job. Even the most organized homeowners suffer through the grueling process. Let your general contractor handle approvals and permits. There may be an added cost for their time, but their expertise will allow them to navigate the process faster. Plus, it will literally cross things off your to-do list!
Set Benchmarks, Hit Benchmarks, Stay On Schedule
The easiest way to remove stress from the beginning is setting reasonable benchmarks. Typical benchmarks include demolition, inspections, framing and electrical, to name a few. Good contractors will be willing to create a calendar of benchmarks. When you check in a few days ahead of schedule, they can point to the calendar—and when they’re late hitting a deadline, you have the calendar on your side.
Show Them The Money
Motivated contractors go a long way for your stress levels. Paying in small increments can lead to sloppy work and disinterest in finishing on time. While it may be typical to pay 10% upfront, experts suggest a 50/50 split with your contractor. Not only will it motivate your contractor to finish the project and collect the rest of their money, but showing that kindness upfront can motivate a job well done.
Giving bonuses for exceeding expectations on deadlines can also motivate contractors to churn out good work quickly. Money has historically been a proven motivator for good reason.
Save on cost and stress when you follow these simple strategies. Scheduling a remodel doesn’t have to be a dreaded event anymore.