Smoothing Out The Remodeling Process Nov 9th, 2010 There are certain steps that should never be overlooked when you are getting ready to remodel your home. * Make sure your contractor is licensed and ask to see the license. * Take your time. Never rush into a project, no matter how badly improvements are needed. Get to know your Contractor. * Be wary of the contractor who gives you a quote before thoroughly discussing your project. * Always check references of projects currently in production. * Always get a detailed, written scope of work and contract. * A responsible contractor won’t ask you to complete the work without obtaining the required building permits. * Don’t let payments get ahead of completed work. * Never pay more than 10 percent of the total Contract – Not to exceed $1000, as a down payment. * A quality contractor has the cash flow for labor and materials. Don’t let their financial problems become yours. * Get to know the entire “Remodeling Team” (Project Designer, Interior Designer and Project Manager) before you start. * Take the time to look closely at all paperwork and contracts. * Properly prepared contracts will include everything. Be very clear that money will not be released for work that has not been discussed, contracted and approved. * NEVER use the word “ASSUME” in remodeling – Know what is included and what is excluded in the scope of work. * Be prepared to make payments in increments. The exact schedule for this should be clearly established before work is begun. * And most importantly – Understand that challenges will come up throughout the remodeling process. Decide for yourself, if the the company you will hire is capable of “Rescuing” you once the challenges arise. Because of the dynamic nature of home construction and remodeling, you can’t possibly avoid every single problem or dispute. Here are helpful tips: * Deal with any conflicts immediately. Delays can be costly. * Keep the lines of communication open. A good attitude is a definite asset. * Be reasonable. Recognize that a quality contractor will have many clients. That’s a good thing. Although you want your job done first you also must recognize that there is a process on the road to success and an organized company should have these in place and be able to share with you the plan ahead. * Be available. Both you and your contractor should be accessible for face to face meetings. Preschedule and attend Weekly Meetings together and to keep everyone up to speed and on board. You will find that these meetings are one of the most successful best practices in the remodeling process. If you take the time to work through the remodeling and renovating process correctly, you should be able to look back on the journey it as a smooth ride.