Although a major renovation can prove to be a rewarding project, it can also upset your life if you are not prepared. I've heard about the worst scenarios involving people who lost their homes because they got wanked and others who ended up with incomplete project nightmares that cost them thousands of dollars. dollars to correct.
Here is a list of the top ten mistakes made by homeowners when undertaking home improvement projects and tips on how to avoid them:
1. References. Do enough research and background checks to satisfy yourself. Stay away if the contractor is not ready to provide references from past clients. Do an online search of the company and the personal name of the entrepreneur. Check with local courts for judgments filed against them and with the Business Conduct Bureau for any consumer complaints. Look at the previous work completed (in person). Check with material suppliers because a good contractor will have a longstanding relationship with suppliers. Contact other entrepreneurs who have worked with them before. Check their creditworthiness – entrepreneurs with bad credit are often disorganized and do not manage their business well. Ask about insurance, workers compensation and licensing.
2. Project Management. You need someone to help you manage your project. Most problems arise when inexperienced owners try to manage their own project. A project manager is a single point of contact between the owner and other contractors and is responsible for the planning and execution of the work.
3. Contracts. Make sure your contract is strong. As obvious as it may seem, the failure to obtain a contract or to sign an incomplete contract is one of the most common mistakes. Put all the details in writing – never speak to anyone for that. Here are the elements that should be included in the contract: (1) the full name of the company and the person with whom you are doing business and their contact information, (2) an addendum including the complete set of plans, ( 3) an addendum consisting of the materials to be used, (4) the price of goods or services, (5) the manner and terms of payment, (6) a description of the work to be performed, (7) a start date and an estimated completion date, (8) a default clause in case the l & # 39; one of the default parts specifies how damages will be calculated, (9) guarantees and (10) signatures.
4. Guarantees. Be sure to receive a warranty with the detailed terms and conditions. Do not accept a contract that simply states that all work is guaranteed. There is often confusion as to who is responsible for the guarantee. Get the following in writing: (1) Who supports the warranty? (2) What is covered and what is not covered? (3) How long is the warranty valid? (4) What can void the warranty? (5) What is the warranty claim process?
5. Changes. During the project, you can change your mind about some aspects of design that may require more or less work on the part of contractors. It is essential to document each change order and note the exact cost or savings. Amendments should be signed and dated by all parties.
6. Plans. Get a clear description of what will be done, how it will be done and materials to use. For small projects, contractors can make plans. For larger and more complicated projects, find a qualified designer or architect. And, for example, if the load-bearing walls are modified, find an engineer to review the structural side of the plans.
7. Costs. Estimating costs tends to be a big problem because people do not make realistic comparisons. Homeowners can hire the entrepreneur with the lowest price, but this price can prove much higher in the end. "Provisions" tend to be the main driver of cost estimates. For example, contractors can give you allowances for floors, lighting or hardware that are artificially low. The offer seems alluring until you examine it closely. Ask for an item for direct costs on materials and labor, as some contractors tag materials and manpower so that they can benefit from it. Ask the contractor to transfer the costs and add an item at his expense. This creates a clearer and more honest assessment of the job.
8. Financing and payments. Before signing the contract, determine how you will pay for your renovation project. Make sure you keep control of the money – do not let your project manager or contractor control the money. This sounds obvious, but many homeowners allow contractors to make draws on building accounts only to realize that the prints were not used for the intended purpose. What does it mean? This means that your contractor has marked a new truck, that you have more money and that the project is incomplete. Tips: (1) do not pay much money in advance, (2) pay when materials are delivered, (3) pay when work begins, and (4) pay as work progresses . Pay only after the work and materials have been inspected and approved.
9. Inspections. Do not wait for your home improvement project to be almost complete to complete the inspection. Schedule staggered inspections along the way so that the job does not need to be redone. Do not rely on city and county building inspectors to protect you since the codes they apply do not guarantee quality (and they also often miss things!). Before paying for the work, hire an independent inspector to do periodic periodic inspections.
10. Materials. Stick with products that are proven. This rule applies especially to windows, doors, framing materials, roofing products, concrete coverings, epoxy floors, plumbing, fixtures and electronics. . You do not want to be the guinea pig that the test runs new and supposed newer and larger products and materials only to discover that these items do not last or prove to be risky. ;fire!