Proper planning can prevent remodeling problems
Be sure to communicate all expectations with the contractor before starting a remodel. (Photo courtesy of Robert Dubyk)
Undergoing a major remodeling project can be a thrilling experience for homeowners. Whether it’s a complete kitchen overhaul or a major bathroom upgrade, a home remodeling project is a big process that needs to be thought through.
Many problems can arise during a home remodel due to a lack of proper planning by the homeowner and the remodeler, and they are usually the result of poor communication. Topics like budget, deadlines, building materials and overall expectations need to be thoroughly discussed before work begins on any home remodeling project.
Home remodeler Alessandro Ferreguetti, owner of United Remodeling in Brighton, Mass., says people need to think realistically about their budget and what they want to accomplish before starting a new project.
“I see a lot of people start projects and then they want to buy these high-end fixtures, and then it blows their budget away and they can’t finish the job,” Ferreguetti says. “They end up in more trouble at the end trying to put everything back together.”
Ferreguetti says he has seen many projects come to an immediate halt due to homeowners spending a majority of their budget on accessories without considering the additional labor costs.
“You don’t want to go overboard with what you’re spending on the house. If you’re going to start something, finish it,” he says.
“It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to understand what their expectations are for the project,” he says. “If they want this ultra-expensive vanity that costs $3,000, it’s going to be a more complex install than a vanity from Home Depot, and they need to understand that.”
Both Shoback and Ferreguetti agree that most complications can be resolved through open communication, and it needs to be established between the remodeler and the homeowner from the beginning.
“You want to eliminate as much gray area up front as possible because it’s a killer both for the homeowner and the contractor,” Shoback says. “It just creates headaches that neither party has time for. They [homeowners] need to understand the project will not go perfect, the plan will not go perfect and issues will arise.”
Additional tips for starting a home remodel:
- Check licensing on all contractors who will be working in your home
- Check if your utilities will be turned off during the remodel and plan accordingly
- Set aside additional funds to cover unexpected problems that could arise
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