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Remodeling Secrets to a Happy Ending

Date: July 12, 2011

Remodeling can be stressful and difficult adventure.   Remodeling is an investment of time, energy and financial resources. .  Often, selling their home and moving is just not time or cost effective.  Remodeling is often the best choice.   However; you do not want to be a victim of a “remodeling nightmare.”  You’ve heard stories of all the horrors that can happen . A bad job will take twice as long as expected and cost twice as much in the remodeling business, I’ve seen it all!  Here are DAD’s secrets to a successful remodel:
 #1:  Have A Plan
Would you go off on a long expensive vacation without first planning your trip and taking map along?  Of course not- That could be a disaster.  Your trip would be full of unwelcome surprises and expensive changes.  Remodeling is the just the same. A project is carefully planned, can then be properly executed, and then a success.”  Determine what you want BEFORE you start by putting it down on paper and in the drawings.  Professional designing with attention to the details will ensure that your project is on time, on budget, and beautiful!
 #3:  Hire A Professional with a Great Reputation
Remodeling is one of the largest investments you can make in your life and home. Remodeling also provides some of the highest returns on investment.  For example, a well-built bathroom remodel can return over 142% of the invested value. A carefully designed and built kitchen can return more than 130%.  In contrast, a poorly constructed and designed project can create damage.  The best way to protect your assets and your personal belongings is to hire an experienced, licensed and insured contractor. Make sure there is a contract and professionally developed drawings that list and illustrate exactly what you will get. 
#4:  Hire Real Experience
The remodeling industry is full of “Jacks of All Trades.”  You wouldn’t hire a janitor r to perform brain surgery so why would you hire a plumber to remodel your bathroom or a company that builds decks to construct a new kitchen?  Hiring someone who specializes in your type of project increases the experience level which logically leads to a much higher quality project, a more efficient and timely project and a higher level of product and design knowledge. 
#2:  Don’t Start Until You Have Everything
Imagine this - your contractor demolishes the bathroom .  Two weeks later you’re still trying to get him back.  His answer to you (when you finally get him on his cell phone) is that the vanity was delivered damaged and the shower fixtures were wrong.  He then informs you that the job is now delayed 4 weeks. Not a good scenario.  Unfortunately, this is all too often a real scenario.  Your contractor should ordered all the required products, get them in, open the boxes and make certain they are the right color, not broken and fit together properly before we schedule your job.  No one is going to tear up your home until we have what we need to keep the job on time and running smoothly.  We also use project scheduling software that will show you by day, by activity, by whom, what will be performed.  There are no surprises.  You know exactly what’s going on each and every day
#5:  Let Your Contractor Purchase The Materials
Yes, you can save a few bucks if you buy that dishwasher yourself and stick it on top of your car. The problem is that most homeowners don’t know what to buy, what fits with what or how much to buy. Making a mistake in product procurement takes a great deal of responsibility out of the hands of the contractor not to mention the inevitable blame game that can ensue if something goes wrong. Do you really have time to go back and forth from the plumbing supply house to return the wrong thing and get the right one?
#6:  Don’t Make Changes
Changes are the single largest cause of remodeling nightmares. You’ve done everything right so far. but you just can’t help yourself and you make changes during construction. The schedule flies off track, your contractor can’t manage his or her time and new materials have to be bought. The key to not making changes is to LOVE your plan and be certain that your team knows exactly what you want.. But don’t just have one . . . LOVE IT!  Don’t sign a contract until you know exactly what you are getting . . . makes, models, colors, etc.  Ensure that the plans, specifications, and layout are exactly what you want.
 #7: The Cheapest Can be the Most Expensive
Initial price gives only a peephole view of the true cost of a remodel over the lifetime of your home. A low price may mean a good deal, or it may signify a lack of quality or durability. Or it may mean that some design, materials, or building costs are not included in the price. A higher purchase price can mean a better deal in the long run: you can actually reduce the cost of living in your home by choosing quality resource-efficient fixtures (lowering monthly utility bills) and durable materials (requiring less frequent replacement).
So, there you have it: how to make a remodeling project a success.