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25 Tips On How To Remodel Your Home

Dreaming about remodeling your home but donít want the nightmares that too often are associated with it? The strain on your marriage. No bathroom or kitchen for weeks on end. Dirt and dust everywhere. Workers on the job before you even wake up. A remodel that never seems to end. Remodeling your home doesntít mean you have to live these nightmares. Itís kind of like what makes a good marriage; you have to work at it.

So here are 25 tips to help you realize your remodeling dream. They come from a variety of sources: the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (a trade group), the California Contractors State License Board and from Homeowners who have remodeled and contractors themselves.

  1. List the things you want in a remodel.
  2. List just those things you need to change.
  3. Develop a realistic budget.
  4. Now add 10 percent for overruns.
  5. Ask friends and neighbors for contractor recommendations.
  6. Describe in detail to at least three contractors what you want done.
  7. Get at least three estimates.
  8. Donít choose the lowest bid just because itís the lowest.
  9. Before you choose a contractor, check him out with the Contractors State License Board, the Better Business Bureau and with any references he gives you.
  10. Donít just accept a number on a contract as being a real license number. Make sure the number matches the name the License Board has listed.
  11. Make sure the contractorís license is appropriate for the job; a general license if he is the overall contractor, or a specific trade (such as electrical or plumbing).
  12. Make sure the name on the contractorís license matches that on the contractorís driverís license.
  13. In California, contractors must be bonded. Ask to see proof of the bond.
  14. If the contractor is going to hire people to work for him, he is required to have a certificate of workerís compensation. Ask to see the certificate.
  15. If you donít want workers waking you up at the crack of dawn, specify a starting time in the contract.
  16. Also specify in the contract that the area be thoroughly cleaned each day after work is through.
  17. Further, specify a deadline for the remodel to be done, and list penalties if itís not.
  18. Make sure the contract makes the contractor responsible for obtaining lien releases from each subcontractor and supplier.
  19. List a mutually agreeable schedule of payments to be made as work progresses, or hire a funding firm to do it for you.
  20. Try to be available by phone for the contractor at every possible time during the remodel.
  21. When asked by the contractor to make a decision on a product or design, do it quickly.
  22. Be firm when you want something done the way you wish but donít be oblivious to suggestions from the contractor or subcontractor.
  23. A photo of something is much better than words when trying to show a contractor what you want something to look like.
  24. Treat workers with respect. Youíll find it gets you a lot more than yelling at them.
  25. Before you sign off on the remodel, make sure everything works properly and that it is done to your satisfaction.