The process of starting new construction on your home is a time filled with excitement, trepidation, and fear. A building or remodeling project on your home is a deeply personal process, and you have put much time and planning into the home you want. The most important part of the process is working with a contractor who will help make your dreams a reality without wrecking the budget you have set for construction.
How to choose a contractor
Contact anyone you know in New York City who has recently had remodeling done. Ask for recommendations or warnings about contractors. If you do not know anyone to make a recommendation, you can always rely on an internet search engine. A simple search such as “remodeling near me,” should bring up several contractors, complete with their Google reviews. Read the reviews, and don’t forget other review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Visit their websites.
Once you have three or four contractors that you think are suited for your project, then schedule an appointment to meet with them. Ask questions about availability, and ask to see pictures and figures from previous similar remodeling projects. Give them detailed information about what you expect from your project and then ask for a bid.
Read the scope of each bid carefully. Do not assume the cheapest bid is the best choice as it might not contain essential things you wanted to include in the project. Once you have a bid that you are satisfied with, schedule another meeting with the contractor to walk through the project, estimated dates of completion, and any other questions you might have.
Ensure that your contractor is familiar with all permit requirements and that they handle the permitting process. Work with your contractor to create a timeline that suits the needs of both of you, and make sure they include the most relevant dates in the contract before you sign.
How to prepare for a construction project
Most remodeling projects start with ideas of what you need and want in the project. Before you begin the planning process, you should write out a list that has two columns. Label one column needs and the other for your wants. Whatever your budget, you need it to cover everything on the “needs” side of the column and as much as possible on the “wants” side. Look at pictures online to get an idea of what you want your remodeling project to look like when it is completed.
Before you start a new construction project, one of the most important steps is to access your home for any needed repairs outside the scope of the remodel. If you plan to remodel your kitchen completely, but there is a leak in the guest bath, you need to address that before starting on the main remodel. Have any repairs outside the scope of the remodel included in the bid price. Before a major remodeling job, it might be a good idea to get a home inspection. One might be required if you will be taking out a home equity loan, but you may want one to find any problems that should be addressed during the remodel.
Whether you are using a line of credit or paying cash for the remodel, know your budget. When planning for everything you want in the new construction project, leave at least twenty percent for unexpected expenses, changes of plans, or upgrades you might wish to add as the project progresses. Homeowners often make this mistake in budgeting, as they assume the initial bid will include a magazine perfect end-result. Even with a good contractor, there are almost always unexpected problems that arise outside the scope of the bid. If there are no unforeseen issues, you might still change your mind about materials, flooring, or finishes as things come together, and you can better visualize the finished project.
When the project is complete
You should have a scheduled final walkthrough once the project is complete. The walkthrough is your opportunity to make sure that all aspects of the bid are covered, including clean up and minor finishing details. Pay close attention to each detail such as molding, light fixtures, and that everything is in working order. Look carefully to make sure there are no minor flaws in flooring, countertops, or any other part of the project. Do not release the final payment until you are satisfied that the contract has been met in full.