10 Pieces of Advice for Home Renos and Working with a Contractor

Preparing for a home renovation is a big undertaking. You have probably been day dreaming for as long as you can remember about how you envision the final results. But now you have to communicate your vision, hire the best team to do the work and handle the stress of your home being a construction zone. To add to the 6 Time Saving Tips for Hiring a Home Contractor, here are 10 pieces of advice for home renovations and working with a contractor.

Advice for working with a home contractor

10 Pieces of Advice

  1. Be upfront about your budget. If you realize you cannot afford the entire project, you may have to break it down into phases as time and money allow.
  2. Don’t let cost be your determining factor for selecting a contractor. As they say — you get what you pay for. When comparing and researching different contractors, compare time, labor, materials, your connection, comfort and trust with them and whether their top priority is your safety and getting your needs met. Going solely on price without researching anything else sets you up for a longer, more costly journey in the end.
  3. Make sure your home is prepared and ready for the work to get started prior to the start of the job. Move furniture if needed. Have a place for the contractors to store items and hang out. Know what colors and materials you want. Remove or lock up valuables so you don’t lose anything that's important to you. Seal off areas that won't be affected by the work. And don’t begin demolition until all of the supplies and equipment have arrived.
  4. Advice for working with a home contractor
  5. Anticipate delays and be ready for them — just in case. Anything can happen. Weather may slow them down, they could find an unexpected issue, it is all a part of the process. Account for the possibility.
  6. Never pay for the entire project upfront. You should follow the payment schedule agreed upon in the contract. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where the contractor can walk away without doing your work with your money in hand.
  7. Feel free to request receipts if you feel you were charged too much for something.
  8. Never pay in cash. Always use check or credit card so that you can have record of each payment made.
  9. Advice for working with a home contractor
  10. Never pay an individual — always make your checks payable to a company for extra financial safety and security.
  11. Don’t sign off or pay the final payment until you do a walk-through with your contractor and your expectations have been met, you have received releases from subcontractors that they have been paid in full, and you have received a final release of lien waiver. If your renovation was larger and requires an inspection, don’t make the final payment until your project has passed the final building inspection.
  12. Finally, once your project is completed, make sure you speak to your insurance agent if your renovation raises the value of your home. You may need to increase your protection.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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