Your home is your castle, but sometimes the castle might need a little work. Perhaps it’s no longer big enough for a growing family, or you need to add a suite for an elderly family member, or an expanded rec room is needed for your busy social life. Whatever the reason, when it comes time to take on a major home renovation project it is better and ultimately safer to leave that work to the professionals. Here are a few points to ponder when shopping for a builder.
• Know what you want before you start. Determine exactly what you need to do and let the prospective contractor know in as much detail as possible. You are the client so be very specific and don’t allow extra work to be forced on you by an over-zealous builder. If you don’t know how to turn your ideas into a tangible reality, contact a design consultant beforehand to work out the details.
• Shop around to get multiple estimates. Major reno jobs can be expensive, so if you’re not working from a bottomless budget, do your due diligence beforehand. It’s often a good idea to get cost estimates from three different contractors before beginning the project. If the projected costs are similar to all three, then that is probably the true cost. If there is a wide variation in the estimates that could be a sign that something isn’t right.
• Speaking of doing research beforehand, it’s also a good idea to do some background checks on the shortlist of contractors you settle on. Check their credentials, find out their full company name and address and ensure they are licensed to operate in your area. If possible, talk to other people who have employed them to see if their work is up to your expectations. Homework now could head off major problems down the road.
These are just a few suggestions; you’re bound to come up with some of your own. The key takeaway is before you embark on any major project requiring the services of outside providers always plan as much as possible. The effort is bound to save you both time and money.