Building a home or renovating an existing home is a huge undertaking for anyone. Within this article we will walk you through several steps that will help you stay on track, on budget and in a great working relationship with your Contractor.
Step One – Defining your goals
Any project or task starts with clearly defining your goals! In a new build scenerio you first have to pick a designed home plan or layout that works with your everyday needs. Don’t choose the design because your friends love it and it would work for them. Your home should have all of the space and functionality that fits your lifestyle! When you plan your home layout the way you need it to work for you, you can then add the creative flare that creates the excitement and breathtaking look that your friends and family will love!
Step Two – Sketch away
After you decide your goals you will now want to put these concepts and ideas on paper by sketching a rough draft. This sketch doesn’t have to be perfect, it simply is putting your thoughts into a visual concept so discussions can begin. Marinate on this sketch for a day or so and make sure you have everything you are looking for in your new design that solves the current problems you are struggling with, within your existing home.
Step Three – Reach out to your Contractor
Finding the right Contractor to suit your needs is critical, yet one other important aspect is to make sure as you interview, check reviews and meet with your potential Contractor is that you are comparing apples to apples. By mapping out your thoughts and creating that sketch in step two above you have now a great foundation to start your discussions with when talking to Contractors. Great Contractors will take the time with you, truly listen to you and offer solutions and further ideas. Always do your research and ask for references, then choose the Contractor that you feel the most comfortable with.
Step Four – Working with your Contractor
Upon choosing your Contractor you want to make sure there is a mapped out timeline for work to begin and finish. Unfortunately, in construction that timeline has to be flexible so don’t let it be set in stone in your mind. The reason to know a preliminary timeframe is to see when you need to have certain decision made, such as products and materials. This is one area in which can really hold up a Contractor and the project so be sure to do your part and stay focused on getting these items picked out as soon as possible.
One other thing that will help you to work with your Contractor in a successful way is to make sure you work out the right plan or process of giving access to your property. In a new build, the Contractor has full reign and can come and go as needed, however on an existing home and in doing a renovation the Contractor has to rely on your schedule for access. Be sure to make arrangements that do not hinder the Contractor but also do not ruin your day and week. You want to have your Contractor work normal hours, such as 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. or somewhere within that timeframe. This way you know what to expect and how best to manage the every day events of your day.
Lastly, a great way to work best with your Contractor and to help you stay on track and on budget is whenever a change order comes into play, have your Contractor draw up an invoice for that item. Pay that change order and get a receipt before work begins. This will help you to keep the the original estimate on point, meet the milestones and have you not be overwhelmed with a huge invoice for the original project cost and change orders all at once at the end of your project. Not only does this help you but it puts less stress and financial strain on the Contractor as materials for each change order has to come out of pocket until payment is complete.
Step Four – Enjoying the Ride
By applying steps one through four above you will truly be able to enjoy the ride of creativity and great craftsmanship of your Contractor all while watching your plan and design concepts come to life! By working together you and your Contractor you will find the experience to be a smoother process overall.
Be sure to offer a testimony online to your experience with your Contractor. Sharing your experience with others is always rewarding. If you loved your Contractor and his/her work you’ll help others finding a great Contractor and you will help