Thursday, March 20, 2008

Preparing Yourself for a Home Renovation Project

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation along with a home contractor to a group of professionals. The contractor, Paul Monaco, brought up a number of terrific points about the effect that a home renovation project has on one's household. So, in no specific order:

1. Be ready to have your life turned upside down. Doing renovation work in your home is very disruptive.

2. Do not put in a new lawn or beautiful new shrubs just prior to putting in an addition. Assume that your landscaping is going to get ripped up.

3. Prepare to eat off paper plates and wash your dishes in the bathtub or a temporary slop sink.

4. Understand that different workers will come and leave at different hours.

5. Do not count on workers to arrive on a daily basis. For example, a plumber may need to attend to an emergency and put off work at your home for a day.

6. Unforseen events may occur. Weather may interfere with the progress of your project. In addition, there may be hidden defects that must be addressed. A recent change in the building code in Massachusetts is also placing new demands on contractors and there may be more work involved to bring your project up to code.

7. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Keep the lines of communication open and many problems will be prevented.

By the way, this is my 100th posting!


At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Randy Harris said...

Very good points. Especially about communication with the contractor, and any workers. I'll add that when communicating with ANYONE working on your project -- make sure they have the authority to speak with you -- especially if they are agreeing to make any changes to the project, commit to a certain time frame, or otherwise negotiate any point of the contract.

"Get it in writing" can not be emphasized enough. I have heard to many horror stories from homeowners, (and contractors), where a job goes sour because of miscommunication, (and at times outright lies). If a contractor promises to "throw it in" (for the already agreed price), ask if they mind signing something that shows that the work or materials they "threw in" were included in the project.

Finding a reputable contractor is also a key factor. While a friend, relative or neighbor may suggest someone who will "give you a deal", sometimes these aren't the best people for YOUR job. Looking for a contractor? Please visit my webiste, for screened, verified contractors, construction news, and related info.

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