How To Pick A General Contractor For New Home Renovation Or Remodeling

Weird things during renovation

Home renovations are just a part of life, right? Not for these cases, where people started digging down or opening walls and found things they would have never imagined.

Witches Potions

It’s said that witch’s bottles full of things such as finger nails, urine and the likes were hidden in the walls of homes to fight off witch’s curses!

Inside the bottle was some urine, finger nail clippings and a small heart shaped piece of leather that was pierced with a nail. Researchers even managed to discover that the urine contained traces of nicotine!

A living board game

Beneath the carpet was a giant monopoly board, and not some artists creation but an actual replica of the board with everything from the Pass GO sign to jail. There were a couple of extras though, can you spot the naked women silhouette – hey, like we said, no judgement

A Mummified Cat?!

We’re not actually the superstitious kind here at STORED, but these findings have got us thinking. Okay, this one isn’t strictly renovation (or not at all) but we couldn’t resist including it!

Renovation Nation: Things to Consider When Making Changes to Your Home

There are a lot of reasons you might buy a home. Maybe you love the kitchen or the feel of the master bathroom. It could be the big backyard that gives your golden retriever a lot of room to run. And the schools could be great as well.

As many great reasons as there are for loving any particular home, they’re almost never perfect. Maybe you’d like to knock out a wall between the living room and kitchen to create a more open floor plan. Maybe it’s a matter of putting a skylight in the bedroom so your kids can sleep under the stars. You might want to redo that ugly, lime green bathroom that’s straight out of the ’70s

Goals

You really need to determine your goals at the onset, because it’s going to drive everything else you do. The first thing to figure out in terms of goal setting is who this is for.

Budget

One of the first remodeling considerations should be what you plan to spend. This determines the scope of the project. It may also help with determining if the renovation is cost effective compared to other options.

Cost of Materials

Once you know how much you want to spend, it’s time to budget in the cost of the materials. The hard part can be getting an accurate estimate of what’s required for the job. How much hardwood or wallpaper will be needed for your particular project?

Tips When Renovating An Older Home

I’m in the renovation business and business is booming. Everyone is renovating, which is one of the reasons it’s so tough to find a good contractor. Consider the age of your house when deciding on kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations, home improvement renovations and house additions.

Asbestos & Home Renovations

Many older homes and buildings today still contain asbestos. When we started demo on the River House on Holmes+Holmes, we realized that there was asbestos. When asbestos fibres are disturbed they get released into the air, and if they’re inhaled they can get trapped in the lungs and cause serious health issues, including cancer.

Get To Know Your Wiring

If you are using about the same amount of electricity as people used in the 40s and 50s, then there may not be any issue with your wiring. But that is rarely the case. Old wiring was designed for different amperage, when people just didn’t use as much electricity. Most insurance companies won’t even insure houses that have knob and tube wiring.

How Can You Tell If The House Has Knob & Tube Wiring?

In older homes, one plug was usually all you got in a bedroom. If there are two or three outlets, you can bet there is old and new wiring patched together.

New plugs installed with new wiring to make it look like the entire wiring was replaced. Sometimes it could be attached to old knob and tube about four inches away inside the wall.

Any time you find surface wiring run along the top of the baseboard and around the door casings, it’s likely you have new patched into old.

Other Problems In Older Homes

When budgeting for a home renovation, I always recommend getting a pre-reno home inspection done. A home inspection can alert you of safety issues prior to starting work, so you can budget appropriately. It will point out deficiencies in your home. Here are some other issues with older homes:

Rusting pipes

Rotting beams

Mould and termites

Water damage

Hazardous framing

Uninsulated walls and ductwork

Undermined foundations

Damaged exteriors, such as cracks in plaster

Smart ways to pay for home renovations

Let us guess: Your dream house has Pinterest-worthy landscaping, a modern kitchen, 2.5 spacious bathrooms, gleaming wood floors, and enough room to give everyone in the family a little privacy when they want it. And, unfortunately, that’s not the home you actually own.

Homeowners are very busy renovating and improving these days, according to a HomeAdvisor survey. The homeowners surveyed had spent an average of more than $6,600 on improvements in the last year, and almost half of them were thinking about doing more.

What’s driving all this home improvement? Part of it is that, with home prices so high, a lot of us are buying places that need work. And with too few homes to choose from, we’re remodeling instead of moving when we want more or better space.

Consider this if you:

Also have a separate emergency fund saved

Can save what you need before repairs become critical

If you had a pile of cash, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post! But still, we have to say it: the best way to pay for a renovation is with cash, so you can keep your overall debt to a minimum. Put yourself on an automated savings schedule and take the opportunity to cultivate that virtue called patience.

Of course, patience can wear thin when core rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom are way past their prime. And waiting until you have cash isn’t always realistic — or even smart. Case in point: don’t delay critical repairs for too long. A leaky roof would fall into this category. Neglect a problem like that, and it might turn into a bigger, more expensive one.

Renovating My First Home — Here’s What I Learned

The first time I walked into the quaint white colonial house with black shutters, I knew it was going to be ours — despite the overgrown landscaping, butter-yellow hardwood floors, and retro pink-and-blue bathroom.

It was going to take a serious amount of work and several large-scale renovations to turn it into our dream home, but we were ready.

PAYING IN CASH CAN PAY OFF

We tried to pay cash whenever possible and ended up getting some great discounts in the process. The savings is real, people!

THINGS WILL GO WRONG, SO BUDGET ACCORDINGLY

This goes for time and money.

For example, we hired a general contractor to do several smaller jobs around the house for a great rate. Then his wife went into labor early, and we had to work around a new baby-dictated schedule. (Ironic, we know.) In the end, it took an extra month to finish the work.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BARGAIN

Despite all its troubles, our new master bathroom is easily my favorite room. It now has white and gray herringbone marble floors, a spacious double vanity and the biggest shower we could fit. At $15,000, it was also our most expensive room.

Hiring A Home Remodelling For Home Repair

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Home Remodel

Sometimes, the most difficult aspect of a home improvement project is choosing a remodeling contractor. In order to ensure you’re on the path to a fantastic home upgrade, we’ve put together a few steps for you to take during the selection process. So, here are six things to consider when choosing a contractor for your next home remodel project.

Know What You Want

The first step in choosing the right remodeling contractor is all about you and your home.  Have a plan.  Decide what and how you want to remodel. Not only does having a plan make it easier to get an accurate estimate, you’ll also be able to compare estimates more easily.

Ask Your Friends and Family

Good home remodeling contractors generate a lot of positive recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and other acquaintances if they have ever worked with a contractor that they liked. Asking not only helps you narrow down your list, but also who to avoid. Knowing who does, and doesn’t, do a good job is an important part of how to choose a contractor for your home remodel.

Look for Online Reviews

Online reviews can be very helpful. Look for places where reviews are harder to fake, such as Angie’s List and Yelp, as well as social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get to see a broad range of experiences customers have had with the contractors you’re researching.

Speak With Multiple Contractors

After you’ve gotten recommendations and checked online, it’s time to call a few contractors. Always get multiple bids on your project. Even if you absolutely love the first plan you get, stopping there means you’ll never know if the quote you received offers a good value. Home remodeling contractors may charge different rates because they may have different specialties, so getting multiple bids is a good idea.

Tips for Choosing a Home Remodeling Contractor

When it comes to home improvement projects, you may find that many of them are not “do it yourself.” If it’s time for a home remodel, it may be in your best interest to leave it to a professional who knows what it takes to deliver high-quality results. Choosing a contractor to lead the project is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, who you hire could have a huge impact on the outcome of the project and your level of satisfaction.

Experience

The type of remodeling project you’re considering can play a huge role in which contractor you choose. For example, if you’re making changes to your bathroom, you don’t want to hire a contractor that doesn’t have experience in . Whether you’re changing the look of one room or doing a major overhaul of your home, it’s best to find a contractor who has experience and expertise in many different types of remodeling projects. Ideally, you want someone who can do it all. It’s also important to consider how long they’ve been in business and how many similar projects they’ve completed.

Project Details

Be sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Be specific about how you want the finished project to look. Think about the materials you want to use and how much money you have in your budget. Are you willing to compromise on certain elements if you need to? Which changes are top priority? Letting the contractors you’re interviewing know these things up front can give you an idea of whether or not they’ll be able to deliver the results you’re envisioning.

Interviews

Choosing a contractor to remodel your home should be taken very seriously. After all, their expertise directly impacts the quality of the project, and a remodel is a significant financial investment. As a general rule, it’s wise to interview at least three contractors for your job before you make a decision. Use that time to get to know the contractor. Try to get a feel for their work ethics, priorities, and overall dedication. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions. It’s better to be thorough now than regretful later. The answers you get could be the deciding factor between one contractor and another.

Insurance

Before you hire a contractor, check with your insurance agent to see what’s covered by your homeowner’s policy regarding home repairs and remodeling. Make sure the contractors you’re interviewing have insurance, as well, and that their policy has adequate coverage for your projects. Checking this out ahead of time could help save you a huge headache later.

Keys to Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

Professional Standing: A good place to start when considering a contractor is their professional standing.  Find out what professional organizations they belong to. You can also check their standing with the Better Business Bureau.  This simple first step is a way to narrow your choices.  Because the cost of entry is so low for remodeling contractor, there will be lots of fly by night, low bid options.  Don’t be tempted.

Reputation: What do past clients say about the contractor?  Are they frequently recommended? Are they invested in the community in a way that demands integrity?

Clean: The number one complaint about remodelers is dust and mess.  Ask your potential contractor how they deal with dust when they are installing drywall in a home. How will they deal with construction debris? Will it be left in a pile on your front lawn or do they have a means of quickly getting it off site?  A quality contractor will have clear routines for these basic issues of remodeling and, without hesitation, be able to provide detailed and reassuring answers. Vague answers that do not include things like dust walls, air scrubbers and same day removal are a red flag

Insurance: It is essential that any remodeling contractor you hire maintain necessary insurance to protect your home investment.  This includes general liability and workers’ liability insurance. Ask to see their policies and call their carriers to verify.

Longevity: How long has the contractor been in business? Unfortunately, a great deal of necessary learning comes from trial and error. You do not want your home to be the class room for a young or inexperienced contractor.

How to Choose the Best Home Remodeling Contractor

Whether you want to resale your home or to give it a new look, you will always want to make sure that the right contractor handles the task. Only a well-experienced contractor is capable of giving your home that wonderful look that will make everybody passing by want to stop and have a look at it.

Online Reviews

The reason why you need to spend quality time looking at the online reviews is that this is the place where you will find important insight about the contractor. When people use services from a particular contractor, they will always want to go back and comment about the quality of the services that they got. If the services were not satisfactory, you will find this mentioned and it will give you a hint on what to do next.

Certifications

Before you decide that you are going to work with a particular company, it is wise to ensure that they have the necessary certifications with them. A license and insurance is a must. A good home remodeling contractor should have a license to show that they are qualified to offer the task that they claim to offer. An insurance cover, on the other hand, is supposed to take care of the unexpected if they happen.

The Reputation

A home remodeling contractor can only have a good reputation if they have been offering quality services to their clients. You can only know if a contractor has a good reputation by reading online reviews. It is here where you will find all the comments about the contractor. Best home remodelers will always have many positive reviews

Past Work

It is also good to take a look of the past work that has been handled by the home remodeler that you want to work with. If you like some of the projects that have been completed by the remodeler that you want to hire, then chances are that you will like their services as well.

How To Choose A Home Remodeling Contractor

It is a sad truth that contractors have a reputation for being untrustworthy. A couple of bad apples have given contractors a rotten reputation. But many contractors a good, honest workers that are dedicated to making remodeling projects easy for their clients.

Know What Kind of Remodeler You Need

Many people might not know this, but not every contractor is the same. Depending on the project you envision you should select the type of contractor that will most likely be able to make that vision a reality.

Read the Reviews

A good way to determine what kind of service a company delivers is by reading the reviews, both on and off their site. Can’t find any? That is never a good sign when a company hides them.

Make Sure They Are Licensed or Certified

Anyone can claim to be a contractor, put up a website, and take your money. Researching more about a contractor and their qualifications can save to the frustration and heartache of dealing with a fraud.

Check with Your HOA

Homes that belong to HOAs, or homeowner associations, typically have to abide by certain regulations and standards. This often means that renovations must be approved by your HOA, use certain types of floors or tiles, not change the home’s exterior, and constrict the level of noise created by the construction team. Finding a contractor that can work within HOA limitations is an essential step to building an addition for homeowners that belong to one.