Dream home remodeling may not always be a dream experience. It invariably requires work and determination to make it happen, but Boy! Oh Boy! Can it be worth it!.
Many people spend years to buy and start remodeling their dream home. They have labored long over the designs, layouts, and floor plans. Now the time has finally come to start building their home! So, what can they expect? Would you be able to do this?
Handling the Stress
Once the building or remodel process begins the stress may at times be overwhelming. Building homes takes a lot of people and making sure all those people are doing what you want them to do can be a difficult task.
To help manage the stress that comes with this time you can follow these simple steps.
1. Be Prepared – Don’t start building your home until the design is finished and you even know what the interior design is going to be. Creating a home before the plans are finished is a sure-fire way to disaster and a whole lot of stress.
2. Budget – Have a budget and stick to it! One of the biggest mistakes people make in new real estate is not properly planning their budget. Create a thorough list of all your costs and leave a big cushion. You don’t want to get halfway done and run out of money. Then you’ll have a half finished house that you will still have to make payments on.
3. Get Help – If you are not an experienced contractor then don’t try to act as your own general contractor. It will be worth your money to hire someone else that is trained. Plus the amount of stress a general contractor can relieve is worth its weight in gold!
4. Relax – At times this may seem impossible to do…but finding time to relax during your building or repair project is absolutely essential. During your creative home remodeling it may seem impossible to relax, so try to pre-schedule time for it.
Braving the Elements
Weather can be another huge source of stress when it comes to building and remodeling projects. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to control the weather or even predict it. Despite the weatherman’s best work, the weather is often still very unpredictable.
Even though you can’t predict the weather you can plan ahead for the possibility that bad weather may come. When designing your timeline make sure and leave plenty of cushion for rainy days and other weather related issues that may arise.
Discuss the effects of weather on your building project with your contractors so you are well informed. Ask questions if you are unsure of anything. Discussing the subject openly with your contractors before the building begins will make it easier to develop your timeline. Most contractors are very good at predicting real timelines, but they choose to bid shorter ones to get your work.
Discuss your honest need for a firm timeline and your willingness to accept a longer time frame that is more accurate instead of an inflated timeline that is wishful thinking. Your contractor will likely give you a date that is several weeks later than their original bid, but this is much more realistic and will provide you better information for you planning.
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Tips For Selecting And Contracting A Home Remodeling General Contractor
Most remodeling projects involve either structural or aesthetic aspects which might require several specialized technical skills. If this is the case, you most people will want to enlist the services of a general contractor.
A general contractor negotiates a contract for the entire remodeling project, and either completes the specialized work with his own crew, or sub-contracts to other various house remodeling contractors. Some of the specialized areas might include planning/architecture, concrete, plumbing, electrical, roofing, dry wall, cabinetry, or painting.
To get an accurate bid from a potential general contractor, it is very important to plan carefully, with much thought and consideration. You may want to involve an architect or draftsman to generate the blueprints for your project. Remember that any home remodeling features not included in the plans will not be included in the bid.
Once you have detailed plans for your project, you need to start the selection process for a general contractor. Canadian residents can go on-line to Handy Canadian.com for a list of qualified, licensed contractors.
It is a rule of thumb to get at least 3 bids from separate remodeling contractors. Provide each with an identical set of plans. Be upfront about your expectations, and request they be realistic about time, cost, and interruption factors. It is wise not to make a selection based on price alone; other considerations are equally important.
Before you accept a bid from a contractor ask questions: What experience and references do they have from projects similar to yours? Will they be working on other projects simultaneously with your own? If they will not be personally working at your site, how much time each day will they spend supervising? Will they use their own crew for some or all the work? How available will any sub-contractors be? What licenses and insurance do they carry? And what is the time line of the project, start to finish? These are questions any reliable, qualified general contractor should answer and outline in the contract.
When negotiating the contract for your home remodeling project, be thorough and accurate. Include complete names and addresses of both parties, a detailed job description, material specifications, start and finish dates, any warranties on work or materials, and payment options.
It is fairly common for a general contractor to ask for 10-33% of the estimated cost in advance; most contracts provide for payment as work progresses.
A reliable, reputable contractor will agree to contract terms which help protect the interests of both parties.
By being thorough in your research, planning, and contracting process, you can look forward to enjoying the results of your home remodeling project for many years to come!