Today, I was in a rather rotten mood. I’ll blame it on the fact that it’s snowing in Charleston and my mom is chilling with some cider and I’m in my office today freezing my tuckus off with snow-thing (get it?) to show for it. Meh!
But then, I went to visit a friend of mine who is currently renovating her house whilst adopting a family of kids. It was refreshing getting out of the office for a while and seeing two builds today: one of a new second story and a new family. I can’t wait to share that post on another day. Here’s a teaser…
But visiting with my friend and her family today got me out of my funk and ready to write again.
So, you’ve decided that DIY may be totally out of your wheelhouse for whatever reason and you will have to hire a contractor. What next?
Step 1: Ask for a Referral. Your friends, family, Realtor®. All of these folks have your best interest at heart, so before going straight to Angie’s List or Facebook, ask your sphere one on one who they would recommend using.
Step 2: Check The Track Record. Contractors are human, however, too many mistakes could wind up costing you in the long run or leave you in the dust with the work halfway done. Check to make sure that they are indeed up on their licensing through the state, pay their bills to supply companies on time, and have a solid customer feedback.
Step 3: Phone Interview. After checking stats on the contractors, give each of them a call to get a feel for them. Investigate their communication style, their experience, their ability to take on your project both skill and time wise. It’s an easy, time saving technique that will help wittle the list down further.
Step 4: The Home Interview. Meet with the remaining contractors so you can share your vision with them and they can provide you the quotes for the renovations. Save time and money by having your materials picked out, your paint colors, your budget set clearly, and your timeframe set to begin the work. Money isn’t the end all, be all of this meeting, but rather making sure the contractor is going to see your plans through efficiently.
Step 5: Know Your House. You have seen it on HGTV. Chip and Joanna are in the middle of a reno and ARGH! There’s old wiring or EEK! The structure isn’t up to code! These unforeseen whoopsies will not only tack time on to the project but money. While some things can not be seen until the walls are down, most surprises can be found in a home inspection. If you haven’t had one done in a while, have an inspector come by and do a pre-reno inspection to make sure everything is up to code. If it’s not, at least you’ll have time to budget and regroup the schedule instead of being surprised halfway through.
Step 6: The Contract. Anything substantial should be backed up with a contract for your protection. Have the terms of your agreement with the contractor drafted by an attorney and have signatures and copies made.
Thinking about renovating and need a Realtor® opinion? Give me a call!
Allen Tate Company
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