Renovating should be a fun and exciting process. The key is to plan the project out in advance, hire the right people, allot the appropriate amount of time, and make provisions for delays. Try not to make the completion date coincide with your birthday or anniversary. Begin long before that date, if you’re planning a special party, and even then, have an alternate location in mind.
Don’t impose a time frame on yourself or your contractor that will create stress. At the same time, get a clear understanding of how long the project will probably take, and when it will begin. If it’s a three month job and the work won’t begin until November, your house will not be ready for a New Year’s Party.
This is a surprisingly common problem – how much time the home owner thinks a project will take and that actual work time required. Have your Contractor include a probable time frame with the quote.
Have a clear idea of what you want before your contractor comes over. You don’t have to sketch out the changes, but you should be able to tell them what changes you would like to see. Many good contractors will have done so many renovations that they will immediately know what needs to be done, the approximate cost and time-frame.
When a contractor tells you that ‘the little bathroom’ will cost about $3,000.00, don’t think that your job will secretly only cost about $20.00, maybe a little less…then be shocked and dismayed when your bill comes in at…$3,000.00. You’d be surprised how many people have notions like that. Try not to fall into this trap, or to think that any changes you make once the job has started won’t affect the price or the amount of time of a project. Always get written quotes for any work you are having done, that way you’ll both be clear about the expectations for the job.
If you’re really stuck trying to figure out how to improve an area in your home, consider hiring a Designer. Keep in mind that they can work within your budget, but if your budget is really tight, it’s probably better to spend the consultation fee on new drapes or a toilet.
If decision making is a problem area for you, and you’re able to relinquish control, then a designer might be the clear solution. Shop around the same way you would for a contractor until you find someone you’re really comfortable with, someone who will listen to what you want.
Remember, it’s your house, so do what’s right for you. If you say, “Absolutely no red” and the designer says you need all red if you’re going to be ‘cutting edge’, then choose another designer – one who is more interested in catering to your needs.