Signing a contract with a reputable contractor is a very exciting step in the journey of renovating your bathroom or kitchen. As we mentioned last week, there should be many things outlined in the contract, especially the potential need for an engineering review or permits. Any reputable contractor will address this in the contract and have clear, open conversations with you about what will happen during your project.
When demoing parts of your home to create a beautiful new space, changes may need to be made to the internal structure of you home. A reputable contractor will address the need for a potential engineering review of any wall changes made in your home and will not skirt around permit and inspection requirements. Failure to obtain permits may lead to code violations which may need to be corrected at additional costs in the future. An engineer’s report guarantees that the structural considerations that could make your home unsafe or lead to damage over time will be addressed and handled appropriately by your contractor. A reputable contractor will always address this with you before a project has started, usually in the contract you will sign. This ensures that the construction is being done properly and you, as the homeowner, are aware of the potential costs and it doesn’t come later when there is a giant hole in your living room. Permits are a very similar situation. Reputable contractors will always obtain the necessary permits for your renovation. This will be something you are made aware of well before any construction starts and ensures that you don’t incur any fines from the failure to obtain one.
As with any relationship, the one between homeowner and contractor needs to have good communication. When having those first meetings with your potential contractor, ask about how they will keep you informed during the project. Any reputable contractor will make sure you are aware of any construction going on. Who is coming into your home today? What work is going to be done? Will there be a lot of noise that could impact your day? Has something happened that wasn’t part of the original plan? All of these questions and more should be answered by your contractor and they should be willing and able to answer any other concerns you may have. These conversations will lead to you, as the homeowner, feeling comfortable and relaxed about the remodel, knowing your contractor is there to inform you the whole time. If the contractor isn’t answering these questions and is vague about how they will handle the communication with you during the upcoming project, this is a red flag. The better your communication, the better the renovation.
There are clear expectations all homeowners have for their contractor when starting a remodel. The biggest of which being a beautiful new bathroom or kitchen at the end of the project. But, make sure you address the need for engineering letters and permits, as these could be major financial and timeline setbacks in the future. Your contractor should also keep you informed of everything involved in the project while construction is happening. If your contractor sees to and meets these expectations, you are on the right path to a smooth renovation.