Two things to consider for starting that DIY remodel project
Replace a toilet, check! Fix the faucet, check! Replace that old light fixture, check!
Sure, you might be willing and able to do just about any home improvement project around your house, but before you tackle any major work, consider two things:
First, ask yourself if you can do the job right.
Saving money is one thing, but are you knowledgeable enough about the task at hand so you don't encounter major (and costly) problems?
Second—and perhaps more importantly—put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, even if you're not likely to sell for years.
You might be proud of all your home improvements, but the homebuyer may ask lots of questions about the work. Like it or not, there is an inherent skepticism about homegrown handymen, no matter your talents. There are safety concerns and potential legal issues. You did get permits right?
Professionally done work, on the other hand, tends to have a certain "seal of approval" that assures the job was done properly. Plus, most pros guarantee their work for an extended time, which gives buyers even more confidence.
Sure, there are a few bad apples out there, but if you do your homework, you will find a reputable, professional contractor that will do what they say they will do. Ask your neighbors, friends and family for recommendations. Or, consult an online resource such as Angie's List or CustomerLobby which list reviews of local area contractors.
Knowing what to expect during a remodel project will lessen stress
Remodeling your home can be stressful. However, if you know what to expect, it can lessen the impact on you and your family.
First and foremost, developing a comfortable working relationship with your contractor is paramount to a successful outcome. For more information on selecting a contractor, read "6 Mistakes to avoid when selecting a contractor". Be sure your partnership is a good fit!
Mutual respect between both parties from the very beginning is a must. Both homeowner and contractor alike must respect each others time and investment. Hopefully, your contractor will establish expectations from the planning phases, into negotiation and contract signing and all the way through the completion of your project. Trouble during a remodel project is usually a result of a homeowner not fully understanding something or the contractor not setting proper expectations.
Here are a few bullet points to understand and consider, no matter if your just beginning to think of a remodel project or you have already selected a remodel contractor for your next project:
Realize that reputable remodel contractors consider themselves professionals. They keep business hours. In most cases this means Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm and they rarely make exceptions. Contractors have family's and lives, just like homeowners. In most cases, this means they will NOT be tearing apart your house, running their tools, and constructing your walls on a Saturday and Sunday. Remodeling is expensive and is an important decision. If your serious about your intent to renovate, give it the time it deserves, even if that means going into work late or leaving a little early.
Remodel contractor's time is valuable, just as much as homeowner's. Yes, rescheduling appointments due to conflicts, or illness do happen from time to time. We understand you may need to do the same. If your NOT going to be able to keep an appointment, please give us call as soon as possible. Again, we will extend the same courtesy.
Don't beat a contractor up on price. It is acceptable to question costs and negotiate certain items, but for the most part a professional remodeler who has been around a long time, knows what it takes for a project to be built and what it takes to make certain they are still in business when your project needs service. If you find one ridiculously low price out of line with two other quotes, chances are your not comparing apples to apples. If you base your choice on price alone, a professinal remodeler is not the right fit for you.
Expect to pay a fee for design work. This may be a fixed charge or an hourly rate. Design work take time, but it is important to understand how everything will come together before a price is presented. Avoid accepting a price quote for additions and major modifications without a working plan in which to build from.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO to ensure your happiness concerns is to read and understand every line of your scope of work/roject specifications and contract. This is extremely important as most conflicts during a remodel project occur because either the homeowner to not read and understand what was specified, signed and agreed upon. In some cases, perhaps the contractor failed to clearly describe something but do yourself a favor: If you have a question about a selection, or do not understand what something means, ask. It's that simple. But please do so before you sign the contract!
Try and make as many selections as possible before you sign a contract. Agreed upon selections can be written in the specifications and help eliminate allowances. Likewise, try and keep changes to minimum to avoid change orders, which cost additional time and money.
Discuss such issues such as the use of your bathrooms, any pets that may need to be secured and the safety of any children in the area. As well, understand when to expect work to begin and end every day.
Realize that delays may happen and many of them can be out of the control of the contractor. Some are due to product selections. Making timely choices can help with this. Other delays in the construction schedule may be due to building inspections. For instance, a rough-in inspection of electrical, heating and cooling or plumbing must occur before drywall is installed. In some jurisdictions, inspectors are given up to 48 hours to complete a inspection. The important thing to realize is contractors want to keep you on schedule. Time is money. Not only in extra expenses for your project, but also starting another project.
If you have a question or concern, let your contractor know as soon as possible! Do not let minor issues fester. Rather, address them as soon as they arrive. Mistakes happen, but it is how your contractor reacts that is the important thing. And remember, remodel contractors stay in business by making you happy!
Your house is most likely your single largest investment you will ever make. Sometimes our home needs modified, or routine maintenance at the least. When your home needs attention or you need to add extra space, take a breath and do your homework so you know what to expect. Reducing the stress present in many projects is key to being happy with the end result!
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For a smooth kitchen remodel, hire a professional Indianapolis remodeler
A kitchen remodel or renovation can go a long way to updating the look and potentially increase it's value. So it is no wonder that a kitchen remodel is one of the most popular home improvement and remodel projects homeowner's choose to explore. There are many good contractors in the Indianapolis area, so how do you know who to hire? The answer to that is a hard one. And most often, it boils down to who you feel comfortable with. Having a good relationship with your contractor is important, however, there are a few things you can look for that may help narrow down your choices.
The good news is there are many great Indianapolis area remodel contractors that are capable of renovating your kitchen. Heck, you may even have a relative that is capable of installing cabinets. In most cases, if your replacing cabinets of identical dimensions and in the same layout, cabinet replacement can be a breeze. But, what happens if you want to change the layout? What happens if you want to change the location of your kitchen sink or your oven and range? Is your choice of cabinet installer capable of making those changes also? On a more drastic level, what do you do if you want to remove a wall in your kitchen to open up space into another area of your house, such as the family room? You do not want to hire just anyone to complete this work. In such as case, your best bet is to hire a reputable, full-service remodel contractor.
When it comes to major modifications, which are more and more common, your remodel contractor should be able to handle and coordinate all the trades necessary. This means scheduling and overseeing the work of licenses plumbers and electricians, as well as painter's, flooring installers, and countertop companies. Make sure the contractor your looking to hire will include all this in his price and that you, the homeowner, are not responsible for overseeing or hiring these separate trades.
Another benefit of a reputable, professional remodel contractor is they most likely have access to a wide variety of cabinet brands, in many different price points and have several color, wood, and accessory options. Some, like Gettum Associates, may be dealers of one or more cabinet brands. For example, Gettum Associates offers both Diamond Cabinetry and Candlelight Cabinetry but also has access to almost every name-brand cabinet manufacturer. So, if your set on one type of cabinet you can feel confident a reputable remodeler will be able to purchase it for you.
The availability of several countertop options is another feature to consider when comparing contractors to complete your next kitchen remodel. New countertops can add the finishing touch to any kitchen remodel or renovation project. It seems that material options are almost limitless. Even plastic laminate countertops, which have been considered to be a budget selection now can look great, closely resembling stone and solid surface options, but in a budget-friendly material and construction. Of course, if your all about trends in home design, a well-known, full service remodeler will have samples of natural stone, such as granite as well as man-made stone products. A local remodeler who has been around for a while will have an established relationship with several reputable countertop companies and provide several quality choices.
While it is true that a skilled carpenter can install cabinetry, only a full-service, professional remodeler can package all the services into one. Rather than have multiple companies and people to contact, hiring a professional remodeler gives you only one place to point the finger should a problem arise. In many cases, having a contractor be responsible for all phases of a kitchen remodel can save time and money. And that is never a bad thing!
Have big plans for your next project? Get it in writing!
So, you've decided you really need the extra "room" a new addition could add to your home. The excitement and anticipation of having a space the whole family can enjoy has you anxious at the start, and eventual completion of the project. You did your homework and all the necessary research and planning that a major renovation would entail. You carefully selected your contractor by getting references, researching their qualifications and validating their businesses. You did that right? Oops, you might have overlooked a few steps?
No, problem. Check out this guide, "6 mistakes to avoid when selecting an Indianapolis area contractor" and you will be back on track. As soon as you get your contractor squared away, your ready to start the job, right? Not so fast.
Did you carefully review your project specifications? Did you review the draw (payment) schedule as to when to expect payment(s) due? You do have those, don't you? Of course you do, because you have done your homework. You know that having a written set of specifications as to the scope of the project, the materials involved, etc. is paramount in protecting you as the homeowner. Most of all, the articles you have read have told you that the "remodeling contract" is a legally binding agreement meant to protect both the business (your remodeler) and the consumer (that's you).
Unfortunately, not enough homeowner's think to ask about the details. In many cases, assumptions are made by both parties. It's important to nail down the details. If you are adding an addition, is it specified that all trim is to match existing? Should the texture of your new ceiling match that of the existing? These are all important questions to ask as they will determine the final outcome of your project, and ultimately your happiness. Insist that the project scope of your next project be clear as to what is happening. Make sure expectations are set that you can live with. Make sure you have a clear contract. Insist that your remodeling contract spell out the price of the project, the draws (payments) to be made and when as well as any allowances. Also, there should be a detailed course of action if there should be a dispute.
Most reputable contractors, especially those belonging to your local builder's association, will provide you with these vital documents. After all, this is most likely the biggest investment you will ever make. Protect your investment and do business with a reputable contractor. Be sure they have the credentials and the reputation to complete your project succesfully. Be sure they have insurance, be sure they will be around to service what they sell.
As a respected local Indianapolis area contractor, please feel free to contact Gettum Associates with any questions that you may have in selecting your next contractor. We can be reached at 317.888.5681 or via email at our online contact form HERE