Sunday, December 17

Home Renovation

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Renovating a home is never an easy task.  It takes time, patience and money!  

If you are able to do some of the work yourself, the amount spent will be less.  If you have to rely on someone else to do it, be sure they will complete the tasks in a reasonable amount of time.  

Do not pay a contractor who works by the hour, especially if they are a Jack of all Trades.  The majority of contractors are honest and want to get the job done so they can move on to the next one.  Unfortunately, some will drag out a renovation project just to get more money from the unsuspecting client.  The best arrangement to have with a contractor is cost of materials times two plus ten percent.  Be sure to obtain copies of receipts with the invoice so you know you are being charged fairly.  

When meeting with your contractor, determine who will do the preparation work and how much of the work he expects you to do.  It is best to be clear on this arrangement in the beginning.  It is a good idea to have some sort of agreement in writing.  It does not have to be a bunch of legal terminology but it should state start and expected finish dates, work to be completed, and who is responsible for any unforseen expenses.  It should also be signed by the owner, the contractor and a witness.  Be sure to state any changes made will be required to be approved by you first.

In many cases of kitchen renovations, the home owner can purchase the cabinets at a building center.  If this is decided, be clear on who is going to assemble them.  Some contractors may install them, but you will be required to assemble them.  If they have to assemble and install, the cost may be higher.  Clarify first to avoid hard feelings later.

In many cases of a home renovation, the assistance of plumbers and electricians will be required.  It is important to make arrangements with these tradespeople at the beginning of the renovations.  It is advisable to give them an estimated date of when you will require their services.  If you call them last minute, do not expect them to drop everything else they are doing and run to your project.  Also find out rates and length of time it will take to complete the task.

Living amongst renovations is very frustrating.  The trick is to find a common ground for everyone, but do not expect everything to run as smoothly as when all was in order.  Family members and guests will have to understand this is a hectic time and not all rooms or facilities will be available at all times.  If you are living in the home while renovations are being completed, it is very advisable to do one room at a time.  Turning the whole house topsy turvy will not be a good idea.

Remember, be patient with the contractor and family members.  If everyone makes an effort to get along, the renovations will run smoothly.

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