Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 6 seconds
Through my association with Boise Schools’ Adult Education program called Community Education, I have had the honor of speaking with a group I call the “Veterans of Remodeling Projects” The VRP, much like the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), gather regularly to reflect on what they have been through together. The VRP needed a support group. I listened and they vented.
Threads of complaints articulated a colorful montage of trials and tribulations that illustrated many of the most common pitfalls of the remodeling process. As if on cue, they all agreed that they eventually got their projects completed, though not necessarily with the original contractor. It was that the process was marred by unforeseen problems. Oh, if only for hindsight.
It reminds me of having a pair of state of the art night vision goggles to use when flying at night. Now and then I flip them up and wonder what the hell I was doing for all those years without them.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a VRP to get some accumulated wisdom from those who have gone before you. There is help, and it is all around you for the asking. I have written a wonderful booklet on selecting a remodeler that is free for anyone who requests a copy. The booklet covers many of the common positive traits a great contractor will have, and applies all over the country. (It has yet to be translated into foreign languages). You may request one on the Levco Contact Us page.
I have also created a vibrant social network dedicated to sharing my wisdom, which encourages folks to ask questions and share insights into the process of remodeling. It also provides some third party suggestions about resolving issues that arise during the heat of a project.
So, in hindsight, we all wish that we had the ability to anticipate problems that crop up. Here are some of the key points I have gleaned that will help you avoid most of the biggies.
Several Tips to Avoid Pitfalls
- Have a clear and concise DOW along with a thorough remodeling agreement that spells out the responsibilities of each party.
- Having a clear and unambiguous Change Order procedure is super important.
- Nowadays, there are many ways to communicate regularly pick the one or two that works best.
- Make sure that both you can and your contractor can be reached in the manner that each of you prefer for the appropriate urgency.
- Have a payment plan that uses milestones rather than percentage of completion.
- Make sure you have a good set of plans that covers all areas that are to be addressed.
- Make sure you have a schedule to look at and discuss, ensure it stays updated regularly.
- If you are doing a Cost Plus Contract ( which I do not recommend), keep on top of your costs or they will run amuck.
In closing, be a savvy shopper, and choose your contractor wisely. Realize that even the best remodeling contractor can wind up in a disagreement with you. It is how you resolve it together and move on that punctuates the project. My belief is that the highest level of client satisfaction can only be reached through having a conflict resolved satisfactorily.