Tricks to set up your remodel for success
Deciding to embark on a remodel project is exciting, but can be anxiety-inducing. Especially for first-time remodelers, the knowledge gap between you and your contractor can be daunting. Below are 7 tricks to help you set up your remodel for success.
Know What You Want
When vetting prospective contractors, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want. Research the styles and selections you’d like for your home. Gather pictures that exemplify the overall look and feel of the space you’ve envisioned. A good contractor will be able to speak clearly about the cost and implementation of what you have in mind and guide you toward practical alternatives when necessary.
Beyond the quality of their craft, a contractor’s primary job is to guide you through the construction process. Trust is paramount, and so is transparency. Letting your contractor know your maximum budget upfront will help them steer you towards solutions that are tailored to your financial needs.
Be Aware of your Allowances
Allowances are monetary placeholders in your contract for items for which the cost hasn’t yet been determined (like the cost of tile, if you haven’t chosen a product yet). Knowing what decisions you need to make will not only affect the final cost of your project, but also the timeline. Ask your contractor how they organize and communicate the selections you’re responsible for throughout the project. By working together, you’ll reduce the risk of unexpected costs and help to keep your project on track.
Ask for a Project Timeline
Projects never go exactly as planned, and that’s ok. Having a map and knowing how to get back to the main path is better than not knowing where you are in the first place. Responsible contractors will utilize some kind of project planning system to track milestones, schedule subcontractors, pass inspections and generally keep your project moving. While you don’t need every detail, ask your contractor if they’ll provide you with a project timeline before the project starts, and how they handle changes mid-project. Keep an eye on the inspection dates as those are the critical milestones for a project’s success.
Ensure Your Contractor isn’t Overcommitted
During boom periods in the construction industry, contractors can quickly get overwhelmed with work. Ask your contractor how many projects they currently have underway and if you can speak to — or even visit — a couple of clients they are currently working for. When talking with the other clients, ask about their overall experience, and how changes to the schedule were managed by the contractor.
Establish a Consistent Communication Method
Choose a clear system of communication and keep it consistent. Phone calls and texts are best for quick questions, whereas email and specialty software are best for detailed items, especially for recording decisions. Ensure that any and all important decisions are recorded in writing so you and your contractor share a common understanding of what was decided, and by whom.
Discuss your Concerns Immediately
If you ever have concerns about your project and the work being done to complete it, discuss it immediately with your contractor. While the extra communication may slow things down initially, it is much better to over-communicate early and often than to wait and end up in a situation where the cost to address your concern has increased. Insist that your contractor take the time to address any issues you may have within 24 hours of you raising the concern.
With so many decisions and unexpected changes, keeping on top of your project can and will make the difference between something smooth-running where your vision is achieved, and a painful experience. Pillar makes it easy for decisions to be made at the right time, as well as gentle reminders and updates on the risks of deciding too late.
Interested in using pillar on your next project?
The Pillar platform is currently in beta with homeowners and contractors across the US.
Sign up below to get on our waiting list to get exclusive access to Pillar at launch.