Remodeling your home gives you an opportunity to add value, improve functionality and increase the beauty and enjoyment for years to come. With all the decisions to make - materials, colors, flooring, furnishings - the most important decision you'll make is your contractor. The right contractor will streamline the building process, deliver high quality work and save you hours of work.
Understand the Players
When planning your home renovation, you may be working with a wide range of people.
- Architect - The architect designs the plans and creates a list of material specifications. He or she can also provide references for contractors who can implement your home renovation.
- General contractor - The general contractor oversees the entire and oversees the subcontractors, such as electrical, plumbing, painting, or roofing. Some contractors can help with planning and designing your renovation, while others do only the actual renovation work.
- Interior designer - The interior designer can help plan your rooms to make them more functional and can solve space problems, as well as give your home a whole new look.
- Design/build contractor - A design/build contractor sees the renovation job through start to finish. Design/build contractors usually work in conjunction with an architect or interior designer to help with the planning and designing phase.
What to Look Out For
While most contractors are honest, hardworking people, there can be potential scams and rip-off artists. Beware of a contractor who:
- Demands or only accepts cash
- Is high pressure
- Wants you to pay for everything up-front
- Tries to influence where you get your renovation loan
Interviewing your potential contractor is the first step in making your decision on who to trust with your home renovation. Be sure to ask following questions:
- What are your credentials?
- Do you have a portfolio of previous projects?
- Will I need permits for this project?
- Do you have references?
- Does this project require subcontractors?
- How long will the project take to be completed?
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