Are you thinking about remodelling, upgrading or adding to your home? Home improvements are incredibly exciting. From thinking about the design to materials, creating your dream home is one of the most enjoyable things about being a homeowner. The reality is, however, oftentimes your dream home and remodelling project can quickly turn sour if your deadlines blow out. It is generally the case that when a home improvement project runs over schedule, it also runs over budget, which is not what any homeowner wants. Having to pay extra funds can make even the calmest homeowners frustrated. That is why it is vital your home improvement contractor stays on schedule. While it can be a challenge making sure your contractor sticks to a timeline, with the right tools, you can ensure a smooth and easy home improvement project for everyone involved. Here are our top five tips to keeping your home improvement project on schedule.
1. Choose the right home improvement company
The best way to keep your home improvement project on schedule is to choose the right home improvement company from the get-go. We advise hiring a company based on a referral from family or friends. If that is not possible, take a look at the company’s references online. Any reputable company who cares about their business will have glowing reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, BB, Houzz, Home Advisor, Porch, or Facebook. After scouring online reviews, you can begin to curate a short list of ideal contractors. Then, it is time to start calling the contractors on your list to meet with them and asking for referrals of past clients. If a contractor is hesitant to give such information away, this is a red flag. A reputable contractor will happily provide references, and they should also be able to provide you with all the necessary insurances and licenses.
2. Make the big decisions prior to commencing the project
Not making concrete decisions before you start the project is an easy way to cause delays. While some components of your project will inevitably need to be decided as you go, any big decisions need to be made before you begin. Once you start a project, changing your mind about style, brands or the materials you use can quickly turn a short project into a lengthy, drawn-out one. The reality is even small changes like how your kitchen cabinet should open and close can have a huge impact on the timeline of your home improvement project. Make the big decisions, confirm it with your contractor and try to stick to it.
3. Make sure everything is put in writing
It is vital you get everything in writing before you begin your project, including all the details of project scope and material choices. Getting all of this in writing helps avoid any confusion between you and your contractor once the project begins, while also keeping everyone involved on the same page in terms of project outcomes and expectations.
4. Do not pay for unfinished work
There are some home improvement companies who will ask for a deposit in advance for their work, followed by instalments over a period of time, or simply a final payment. Sometimes, you may be asked to pay for the entire project before it is finished. If your contractor is asking for full payment before the project is completely finished, consider changing companies. You should never under any circumstance pay for work that has not be completed or considerably finished. With some part of the payment held back, both your contractor and you have a vested interested in keeping the project on schedule.
5. Prepare for the unexpected
The golden rule when it comes to home improvements is that once you have made your budget and talked it over with your contractor, always add an extra 20 per cent to account for any unexpected costs. For example, when taking down a wall or moving a window opening, you may find unexpected pipes or wires that will need to be dealt with. While unexpected, it does not mean you need to throw your timeline or budget to the wind. Make sure everything is planned ahead of time and provide a detailed outline of your plan to all of the contractors involved in your home improvement project.