At some point in a home's life there will come a time for some upgrades to be made and it's time for a renovation. Maybe you have hit that pain point where not doing the renovation is worse than going through the renovation. If you have, then keep reading to find out how best to squash those fears and turn your dreams into reality.
So what makes us fear taking on a kitchen, bath or any other renovation that disrupts our life? Here is a small list of things that come to mind:
1. You won't get what you want.
2. You will get poor craftsmanship.
3. You will overpay for the work you get.
4. The job will take longer than expected or worse, promised.
5. You think that you can do the job cheaper or better yourself.
6. There will be problems...I've watched HGTV and know there are always problems.
Let's look at each of these and talk about how we can alleviate those fears.
1. You won't get with you want
Two things to look for here:
One, make sure that you either hire a kitchen and bath contractor that is also a designer or hire a kitchen and bath designer that works closely with qualified contractors. Make sure that a qualified designer is involved with the process from the beginning so that your space will be as awesome as it can be. A designer will think about the layout of the space and how best to optimized it and include features that might otherwise be missed such as cabinet upgrades and integration with technology.
Two, work with a company that includes you from the beginning. Make sure that you are part of the design team. You should be a collaborator from day one. This is your home and your dream and you should be the main character. Your designer/contractor should be your guide to give you what you want.
2. You will get poor craftsmanship
Look at previous work. This will be the biggest indicator of how well your project will turn out. For example, if you are renovating a kitchen you should look past the cabinets and countertops and look at the details. How well does it all go together. Is the trim work (crown, base, detailed millwork, etc.) look exceptional? Does everything line up well. Is there anything that just looks off? Use the knowledge you have (even if it's limited), your eye and your intuition to help guide you.
3. You will overpay for the work you get
Anytime you decide to make a large purchase whether it's a car, a swimming pool, a vacation, braces for your teenager or a kitchen/bath remodel you will undoubtedly ask yourself the question, "am I getting what I pay for"? I'm also sure that the one thing you do is get on the internet and start to Google "how much does...cost". This will get you headed in the right direction and give you some idea of average costs but do you still know if you are getting your monies worth?
The best way to know whether or not you are overpaying is to interview multiple contractors, ask to see photos of comparable projects and also ask what the total cost was for the project. This is different than getting multiple quotes. The quote you are getting is for your project and does not get a clear picture of what a comparable project actually costs. Maybe the contractor has inflated your project or maybe the contractor really needs your project so they have given you a low quote. Seeing photos will also give you an idea of the quality of work so that you know you are paying for good work.
Of course, in the end you will want to get a detailed quote for all work. Make sure that they itemize each part of each room. Have them break out costs for cabinets, plumbing fixtures, electrical items, subcontractor costs, etc. Ask them to break out their profit, overhead and project management fees. This will tell you what they are paying for and what they are charging you for bringing the project to life. With this information you can compare apples to apples. If you are paying for design separate from the construction, have your designer put together a Bid Form that you can send to contractors. If the designer is also bidding on the project they should also fill out this form.
4. The job will take longer than expected or worse, promised
This is a big concern for most people because a major project such as this will indefinitely affect your family. Ask right from the start about scheduling, what their communication style is and how the project will impact your family. This goes right along with #3, getting what you pay for, because a quality contractor will be open and honest with you from day one. Have the contractor present you with a schedule for the project no matter how big or small. You could even ask for a percentage off if the project takes longer than promised.
Ask them how they schedule their subcontractors and what the phasing will be for the project. Make sure that they are scheduling all work in a systematic sequence without lag time between phases. If the project is large there may be work that can be done by multiple subcontractors on the same day but if it is a small project such as a bathroom then each subcontractor should be scheduled one after the other. Just make sure you get a schedule.
5. You think you can do the job cheaper or better yourself
If you are reading this you are most likely not an experienced do-it-yourself person. You may have completed some projects around the house and now you think you can tackle the new kitchen or bath that he or she has been begging for. Before you jump into this project you should ask yourself some questions. Do I know how to install cabinets that are plumb and level, what are fillers for in a run of cabinets or at a corner, do I know how to install a tile backsplash, what's the difference between a white, black and green wire in an electrical box, how do the granite countertops get measured and installed, etc. I'm not saying that without some time, YouTube and some "on the job training" you can't complete this task but chances are that unless you are experienced at renovations, you should hire a professional.
If you still think you want to give it a go and know that you will need some help along the way then contact us by clicking HERE. We offer homeowners a Renovation Assistance Plan. We can offer you design only services as well as renovation management services. Let us know if this is something you would like to discuss further and we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your project and our fees for these services.
6. There will be problems...I've watched HGTV and know there are always problems
If you are someone that bing watches HGTV on the weekend then you probably think that every project runs into multiple issues. This is not typically the case. Remember, you have gone through your due diligence and have hired an outstanding designer/contractor. This person will have identified the issues you will most likely face during the construction phase and will have accommodated for these items. Whenever a host on one of these shows says that they did not know the wall was load bearing, they are doing it for the show and they did actually know. (A qualified contractor would know this too.) The shows on TV have to have a villain which, in this case, is the home being renovated, the host is the guide who fixes all the issues and the star is the homeowner who, in the end, gets a beautiful renovation.5
In closing, remember, trust in your designer and contractor, your intuition as the homeowner and the guidance I have laid out in this post. If you are still unsure and need more reassurance, give us a call at 239-226-0404 or drop us an email. We love to sit down with homeowners and discuss the pros and cons of a renovation. Even if you do not move forward with the project we are happy that you are more informed.
Thanks for reading! Inside Out Kitchen and Bath is located in beautiful Fort Myers, Florida. Contact us if you would like more information on our services. You can SUBSCRIBE on our main blog page if you would like to be added to our list. We will send you our blog when released and make sure you get other information we share.