Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to move forward with your home construction project. Some people plan on renovating or remodeling their house for years – and even decades before taking action. Aside from solidifying your financial readiness, this normally means you’ve made major decisions that pertain to the build. Maybe you want to start with the kitchen before improving the bathrooms. Maybe you’re wanting to add space to the floor plan or open up an area by knocking out some walls. Either way, change is on the horizon and we couldn’t me more excited for you.
The feeling every homeowner experiences once the project is complete is second to none. Living in the home environment you’ve been envisioning can be a dream come true. When it comes to getting started, plenty of things can get in the way. Time might be the biggest roadblock, but fear of the unknown can easily detour construction.
Giving homeowners perspective on the process is something we enjoy doing at Rictor Contracting. Often times, we work with clients that don’t know what to expect or what they’re getting themselves into. Educating them on ways to improve the efficiency of the project makes it easier for everyone involved. Although there are many ways to ensure your home improvement project runs smoothly, here are a few tips to get you started.
No matter how extensive this list is, hiring the right contractor is paramount. Do yourself a favor and research the project manager and the company prior to moving forward with anything. Even if you’re in a time crunch or trust the referral source, it’s important that you check up on the contractor you plan on hiring. One minor setback due to lack of experience can be extremely costly. Check their license, the BBB and other reporting agencies for credibility purposes. Don’t just glance at the license, make sure it’s current and covers the scope of work you are having done. Double check for open complaints and ask questions that give you peace of mind. It’ll be worth it in the long run and a good contractor will respect your diligence.
Like we mentioned in the opening paragraph, it’s important that you make key decisions before engaging with contractors for bids. Imagine the type of chaos that can ensue when you’re unclear about what it is that you want to have done. Constantly second-guessing ideas or considering what other people have to say about the design can potentially detour your vision and cloud your judgement. Solidifying what the job entails not only helps you thoroughly explain the details, but it allows you to move forward with proposals. Getting past the idea stage helps you receive comparable bids on the same scope of work. If you keep changing your mind then it’s going to make tip #1 and project planning extremely difficult.
Once you’ve made your decision on a home improvement specialist, do your best to be available for them. There will be a number of decisions that need to be made leading up to the project and during the construction process. The faster you’re able to hammer out the specifics and participate in necessary discussions, the smoother the project will go. Giving your contractor easy access to you will improve their ability to execute milestones and keep your project moving forward efficiently.
Throughout the construction process, we want to encourage homeowners to keep a positive mindset. A home improvement project is naturally very stressful because your living space is disrupted for an extensive period of time. It’s important that you understand this can be a messy and noisy process. Preparing yourself for the disruption will help you stay positive throughout the experience. Understand that things can (and more than likely will) go wrong at some point during construction. Your ability to stay even keeled and avoid pointing fingers will go a long way. If you take the time to hire a trustworthy contractor, then you can eliminate the thought of being taken advantage of or assuming the worst when something doesn’t go as planned. A negative mindset can really hinder progress.
Working well with others is another key component of a seamless home improvement project. Homeowners should never underestimate their role in the construction process. Working well with your contractor and his subcontractors may be difficult when they’re in your home, but it will help the project run smoothly. When you’re flexible about start/stop times and grant access when necessary, it makes the job easier to complete. When construction workers show up for work they are ready to get stuff done. Simple things like having your vehicle out of the way before they arrive shows them you value their time. In turn, it motivates the entire team to go out of their way for you. Although we take pride in putting our clients needs and living situations first, not all contractors feel inclined to so. Do your best to give them a reason to.
The next tip for a smooth home improvement project is effective communication. Being a pushover or leaning on optimism isn’t necessarily going to enhance progress. It is very important to voice any concerns as they arise and hold the contractor accountable for clarity. This means, asking the right questions so you can avoid assumptions or tension. If the project manager’s communication isn’t meeting your needs, you need to tell them. If you’re having second thoughts about something, the sooner you speak up the better you’ll feel about the process. But, don’t use this as a time to complain. Communicate to work towards a solution, together. Give the project manager an opportunity to do what he or she can to ease your mind. Even if they can’t do much about your concerns, they’ll more than likely point you in the right direction.
In order to hold the builders accountable for a smooth project, you need to make sure you’re doing your job well. As we already mentioned, underestimating your role in the construction process can easily cause the project to get off track. From picking out finishes to writing checks, your role determines how fast next steps progress. Staying on top of deadlines, over delivering and doing your job well is a great place to start when relying on others to do their jobs well.
If you really want your home improvement project to go according to plan, then you have to expect the unexpected. When doing major renovations, it’s nearly impossible to identify all obstacles standing in the way until construction is in full swing. No matter what contractor you hire, they can’t see everything going on inside of your walls. If you have an older home, the chances of finding surprise repairs greatly increases. If you take the time to hire an experienced general contractor, they should warn you about what you might find. Being realistic about contingency plans and financial consequences will help the project run smooth if something occurs. Even when you feel good about the project, always be ready for a setback or two.
Last but not least, a project can go rather smoothly when the homeowner volunteers to help with different elements of the renovation. Helping out with smaller tasks or accommodating the builder can be financially rewarding for you. Think of it as an internship and a way for you to understand where the project is. At the same time, we don’t suggest you attempt to handle things outside of your wheelhouse. Any mistake can set back the timeline of the project significantly. Offer assistance with small things like placing orders, picking up materials, participating in tear downs or cleaning up the job site. Aside from saving the contractor time and helping them stay on track, these things will eliminate some of the out of pocket costs for you.
Taking advantage of these 9 tips will help your home improvement project run smoothly and be more productive. The more time you spend preparing yourself for the transition, the better the experience and final product will be. If you have any additional questions about home renovations in Phoenix or want to inquire about our services, feel free to give us a call or fill out a contractor request. Either way, we hope your construction project goes as planned and that you’re soon able to enjoy the tranquility of a new living space!