What’s Your Responsibility in the Home Remodeling Process?
A prospective client once asked a sage old remodeler what his hourly rate would be. Without batting an eye, the contractor replied: $75 an hour. If you look over my shoulder and make comments, it’s $150 an hour. If you want to grab a tool and help, it’s $250 an hour.”
We’re not really sure who that old remodeler was, but his point was clear. If you’re going to contract with a professional remodeler, you need to let him do the remodeling.
But you still have responsibilities, too. You may not use a hammer or a saw, but there are things you need to attend to. What should you focus on to make the remodeling experience better?
- Request a timeline from your contractor. If you know the schedule for the renovation—and who is going to show up when in your home— you’ll be much more at ease with the project.
- Make sure your contractor will wait until the new products have arrived before starting demolition. Once you’ve made the decision to start construction you’ll be eager to get going. But in the long run you and your contractor will be happier if your house is torn up for as little a time as possible.
- Agree on who is doing what. Make sure it’s clear who is pulling the necessary permits—the contractor or you. This should be done before construction starts. A good remodeler will handle all the necessary electrical, mechanical, building or remodeling permits, but make sure before you get started.
- Set up a staging area for appliances and materials. If you don’t have room to store new appliances before they’re installed, ask your contractor if he has a warehouse or staging area.
- Pack up ahead of time. You’ll want sturdy boxes for packing up items you won’t use during the renovation period. Packing them away will protect them from dust and damage (oh, there will be dust!). Before your contractor begins to tear out walls, you should be down to basics that will be kept in boxes that are easy to access. Label the boxes so you can find what you need later.
- Get stuff out of the way. Move pictures, mirrors, furniture, and other items. Keep things away from walls adjacent to the room you’re renovating to prevent vibrations from the construction from causing damage.
If you do your job well, you’ll make it easier for your contractor to do his job well!