Working with a Home Remodeling
home remodeling articles and tips
topic: home remodeling contractors
by Amelia Gray
Home remodeling contractors do more than pour concrete or replace plumbing.
They provide homeowners with the satisfaction that the remodeling project will be completed on time, on budget, and to the owner's specifications. Working efficiently with the right home contractor can take the burden off any remodeling project.
In the right hands, a home remodeling project can be completed efficiently and on budget with quality, safe labor. Finding a home remodeling contractor can be daunting, but fortunately, there are a few simple things homeowners can do to lessen long-term home remodeling stress.
Begin With a Solid Home Remodeling Spec Plan
Before you select a home improvement contractor, it's important to know what you want. Writing a spec contract is simple, and gives homeowners a chance to organize their needs, time frame, and budgetary concerns before the first dollar is down.
Be sure your spec plan includes the following:
- An itemized cost list, including materials, quantity, and manufacturer details
- Preferred installation processes
- Products to be used during the remodeling
Protect your home improvement project! Failure to create a detailed spec plan could lead to a contractor completing the work to his or her own satisfaction, possibly leading to a longer time or financial commitment than assumed.
Choose the Best Home Remodeling Contractor
Once you've created a detailed spec plan, you can use it to shop for contractors. Present your plan to a number of contractors, and listen to their feedback and quotes on the project. Don't automatically choose the least expensive contractor first -- you may get what you pay for.
Gather the following information from every potential home contractor:
- Business references from prior clients, including phone numbers
- Down payment requirement -- generally, should be no higher than 10 percent
- Insurance documents, including personal liability, workers' compensation, and property-damage insurance
Writing a Great Home Improvement Contract
The best contractor will be willing to work with your specifications. Allow a contractor to provide expert feedback on elements of the project, but keep your own interests at hand.
With your home remodeling contractor, draw up a contract that includes the following elements:
- Detailed payment plan, including completion requirements
- Project start and completion dates
- Remodeling plans and detailed descriptions of work
- Combination details, if you intend to complete some of the project yourself
Keep a Close Watch on Your Home Contractor's Progress
Once the contracts are signed and the work has begun, don't leave your home improvement project in a contractor's hands. Contractors expect some involvement from the homeowners, considering the l...