Some Of Our Top Tips For Homeowners
Tip #1: Know when to hire a professional. And when you do, hire a quality contractor and be sure to vet him/her! Contractors can be shady af. Check online reviews, contact previous references, and depending on the scope of the project you’re hiring them for, you may even want to visit one (or more) of the contractors current projects in real life. See the quality of their work happening in real time, watch how their subcontractors interact, and how the project flows & feels.
Tip #2: Always set extra money aside for things you don’t expect. We recommend adding 5%-10% of your total project estimate to your budget in case unforeseen things arise. (And they do!) This will help to manage expectations from the get-go and prevent you from overspending or cutting corners in other areas to make up for a lack of funds.
Tip #3: Get your paperwork in place. Hiring a general contractor? Make sure he/she is insured and get a copy of that certificate of insurance naming you (and your address) as additional insured. Make sure you have a written solid estimate for your project(s), itemized line by line, signed by your contractor. Always stay ahead on work and behind on payments. Unfortunately, too many contractors will take your money up front, never to be seen again. If they ask for a small down payment for certain materials that will be used right away, fine. But it’s best to set up a payment schedule, in writing, signed by both of you, that clearly highlights milestones upon which your contractor will be paid. Once task “A” is complete by X “date”, then payment of “$” will be rendered. And so on and so forth.
Tip #4: Don’t expect things to go perfectly. No project ever does. Things may break, materials and supplies could be backordered, there could be weather delays, or you might even change your mind on something as you see it start to come to life. These all cost money, time, and can sometimes reroute the construction plan. If you prepare to embrace the imperfect process ahead of time, you won’t be as taken off guard or as frustrated when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Tip #5: If you’re DIYing a project, allow for more time to complete it than if you’d hired a professional. This seems like a no brainer. But we’ve seen a lot of homeowners taking on construction projects themselves because they watched a few videos on YouTube and feel like they can conquer the world. There’s usually more than meets the eye. Not that you shouldn’t attempt a home project yourself. Go for it! Just be prepared to make mistakes and build in extra time.