With the down economy some people are deciding to give up on selling their homes and just stay put and upgrade or remodel their home for themselves and others are renovating their home so it has more sales appeal when the market does turn. We’re focusing on home remodeling options for a few segments of The BBB Eye
In this segment, Carol Odell of your BBB visits with Nick Starkey of PineCrest Construction to learn what to consider when selecting a home improvement contractor and what to make sure you include in the contract such as payment schedule and change orders.
Home improvements are really popular these days as people just are not moving. You have your money available and you know exactly what you want to do for your remodeling project; what is your next step?
It takes a lot of money to do large home improvements so how does a person choose a contractor? You can first check with the Better Business Bureau and get the company’s rating. Also a great place to check is with friends and family members who have done a recent remodel. Referrals can be a good way to find a contractor and you can get a referral even through your bank if you are taking a loan. Construction loan officers usually have worked with many builders.
Get a few detailed bids and, to save on costs, it is a good idea to choose your builder and design team together. Once you have selected your contractor, you need to get a set of plans including estimated costs and start and end dates. Remodels tend to be a little tricky because there are frequently unknowns but this should be addressed as your schedule is developed.
You also need a payment schedule. If you are paying with a bank draw the bank usually dictates the payment schedule. If you are writing the checks personally you should have a pay at completion schedule. For example maybe four payments at different completion points along the remodel.
Make sure that you are very involved and supervising the remodeling job especially if it is a large enough project that you can not stay in your home. Check to make sure any necessary building inspections have been completed and passed.
It is not unusual for people to decide to change a design item during the course of the remodel. You should have a well developed plan before you start your project for how to deal with those change orders, make sure you get down in writing what will be done and how much it will cost.
When the project is just about finished and it is time for the last payment, it should be made after the final building inspection to make sure the job passes the inspection and the certificate of occupancy is issued.
By having all terms very clear in writing it makes the process much easier for everyone because the expectations are the same. The most important component to a successful remodel is to have good communication between your builder and yourself so you both know what to expect.The BBB Eye
airs on PPLD-TV, Channel 17 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and then again on Saturdays at 6:00 p.m.