Starting a construction project on your home is an exciting step! You have a vision for your home’s style and needs, and you are ready to invest your time, energy and money into transforming your home for the better. Before getting involved in any construction project, however, it is essential that you consider these 5 items first.
- First, get multiple estimates for the construction work you want done. At a minimum you will want three estimates from three contractors. You typically should not immediately hire the first contractor you meet. While you may be getting a good rate, you need to shop around a bit first. Also, do not choose the bidder with the highest or lowest price. This means they are likely either overcharging you, or cutting corners just to give you a discounted price so that they get your job. Try to find a price in the middle that seems reasonable but also feasible for the work you want to do.
- One you have narrowed down your contractor choices, do some research. Make sure that this is a reputable contractor by getting recommendations and referrals from past homeowners who have been satisfied with the service they received. Also check to make sure the contractor is legal and certified for the work you are hiring him or her to do so that you protect yourself and your home.
- Once you have the contractor, make sure your expectations are clear upfront. You don’t ant to find out later that what you had hope for is not possible. In some cases, one contractor may not have the specialization and so you may need to choose another contractor instead. Go through the details so that everyone is on the same page in regard to this construction project. This will help to ensure that you get the quality and results you were looking for.
- Make sure payment is discussed early on to prevent misunderstandings or miscommunication during the project. Schedule when you will pay and how much your will pay upfront and get everything in writing. Typically, you should put down about 1/3 of the total cost upfront to cover initial materials and labor fees. Another third should be paid about halfway through the project, and the last third at the end. This ensures that you are fairly paying the contractor, but also protects you so that a shady contractor does not run off with the money without completing your job.
- Be realistic about expectations and goals. While timelines are often set, and plans are made, things may not always go the way you had hoped. Be prepared for this mentally as well as financially. Understand that emergencies come up or unexpected roadblocks. In addition, give yourself some extra “cushioning” money incase unforeseen expenses arise.
Considering all of these items ahead of time will ensure that you are prepared for a home construction project. Be sure to get multiple estimates, get references to make sure your contractor has used construction equipment before, be upfront with expectations, discuss payment ahead of time, and set realistic goals so that you are not unpleasantly surprised once construction begins on your home.