House Renovations can enhance the beauty and value of your home if done properly. Kitchen, bathroom and basement are the most popular home renovations done today and can substantially increase the selling price of your home.
Doing renovations can also be a very dirty and unsettling business that can carry on for weeks depending on the job. It disrupts normal routines and can create stressful situations, especially if you have children. Proper planning is very important in order to minimize anxiety for your family and all the workers involved. But before you bring a contractor into your home you need to decide which is best suited to your requirements.
When choosing contractors here are 10 things to consider:
The written contract should include the scope of work, price, payment, deposits, schedule, timetable, cleanup and disposal of materials.
- Ask the contractor for at least three references.
- Diligently check these credentials out. A referral from a friend or relative is always ideal.
- Ask the contractor if they carry liability insurance in the case of damage to your home, as well as worker's compensation.
- Ask them how long they have been in business.
- Find out what licenses the workers have such as electrical or plumbing.
- What kind of renovations do they specialize in?
- Will they use their own crew or do they subcontract out?
- Find out how they handle getting the required permits such as building, plumbing and electrical.
- Discuss deposits required and review a copy of their contract.
- Are they members of any local builder's associations?
It is always best to bring in a several estimates for your job. You want to be comfortable with the person you hire. Communication is important and if you find it hard to get answers to your questions about estimates then it will only get worst as time goes along.
You should not hire them until they fulfill your expectations around your questions,their commitments and your working relationships. Here are some areas to consider:
Think Green Before Renovations Begin
- They should be willing to advise you and help refine any issues that come up as the project progresses.
- How flexible is the contractor to changes or revisions of plans? In some cases renovators may uncover hidden problems, so have a little extra cash put aside for these unexpected events.
- The lowest bid is not always the best choice. And a cash deal, though tempting, may leave you with no legal recourse if problems creep up later.
- Choose the contractor that you feel will provide the best overall value and stands behind their work.
When renovating it is a good idea to think about the ways you can impact in your energy consumption and be environmentally friendly:
The government has many programs to help home owners with rebates for renovations that are done with energy efficiency in mind. Check your local government for these programs. The time to make changes is when you are doing the actual renovations. You will be glad you did. Green is in! Do what you can to save the environment and you can feel good about doing your part.
- What you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your property. You will save money in the long run and make your home more attractive to potential buyers when you eventually sell. Electricity, water and gas savings can help return a part of your investment and make living in the home more comfortable.
- Improving the home's energy efficiency can be as simple as installing water saving facets and shower heads, fluorescent light bulbs, low flow or dual flush toilets.
- If replacing the furnace, consider a high efficiency furnace with programmable thermostats. The new energy star appliances can reduce energy loads compared to older models.
- Addition of energy efficient windows will better protect you against UV rays, cut down noise levels from the street and insulate against air escape.