Home remodeling projects are exciting steps forward as a homeowner, but they also involve some technical pieces that can get a little tricky if you aren’t aware of them early on. The purpose of this post is to review the big ones to make your next remodel as seamless as possible.
So with no further ado, here are 4 tips to bear in mind on any remodel project.
Be Aware Of Building Permit Requirements
Some remodel projects require that you obtain building permits from your city or state government. Simply put, any time you’re dealing with a structural matter (such as changing a wall, ceiling, or installing windows) you’ll need a permit.
The one drawback with hardware store remodel deals is that they usually use subcontractors to do the actual installations, but require the homeowner to obtain necessary permits. If the homeowner doesn’t know which permits to ask for or how to obtain them, it can cause snags in the remodel. (Either running into stalls mid-remodel or potentially facing fines afterward for doing the work without proper permits.)
Most licensed home remodeling professionals will handle this for you. In our case at Lael Homes this is certainly so. We’ll anticipate any permits that will be required when we’re bidding on the job, and when customers select us for the remodel we’ll review that with them and take care of that piece of the project to ensure a smooth job.
Make Sure Your Remodel Quotes Are Apples to Apples
Another very common challenge for homeowners when preparing for a home remodel is the bidding process with contractors. Pricing can fluctuate pretty significantly and it’s not always clear why.
Here’s a real world example.
We’ve bid on larger home remodel projects in the past where our pricing was in-line with other reputable professionals, but some of the bids the homeowners received were roughly half the cost of all the others. The homeowners asked that contractor some questions and were assured that the bid included everything needed.
In that case, the reason that particular bid was so much cheaper was:
- It didn’t include provisions for plumbing needs or structural engineering
- It didn’t account for permits
- It didn’t account for cabinet layouts
- It was under-priced on the budget for the hard materials
Unfortunately, that meant that part way into the remodel project new expenses kept cropping up, and there was a lot of confusion and frustration.
The takeaway here is to make sure all the bids you’re collecting are apples to apples comparisons.
With each remodel project we take on, we acquire pricing from all other contractors that will need to be involved, such as structural engineers, 3D mock ups, plumbers, electricians, etc. Our bids always include the full picture so there are no surprises.
Make Sure Your Home Remodel Contractor Is Licensed & Insured
This is good practice for this type of work, but it’s also worth mentioning that any contractor bidding on home remodel jobs larger than $30,000 must be licensed and insured.
A contractor being licensed speaks to a degree of expertise needed to earn the proper documentation, and being insured means that should anything go awry mid-remodel you as the homeowner won’t be on the hook.
Those requirements can also be a red flag to be aware of when you’re collecting bids *if* most of the bids are well over that $30k mark, but one or two are below it but very close.
If the remodeling contractor hasn’t specifically stated whether they are licensed and insured, always make sure to ask. This is your home, after all, and you deserve to know all the details.
Does The Bid Include 3D Mock Ups or Previews?
The ability to create 3D previews is a nicety that’s becoming more and more common among home remodeling contractors. This takes the mystery or assumption out of a remodel project, since contractors can mock up your room taking into account all the particulars of your plan.
You’ll be able to see what it would look like and make adjustments as needed before the work begins. When it comes to different styles of appliances and layouts, this is extremely useful.
These 3D mock ups are great for kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, or even for when you’re changing walls throughout the home.
We recommend homeowners ask for this when reviewing bids. If there are two bids that in all other ways are very close, it could be the tie-breaker for you (but only if you know to ask).
If you’re gearing up for a home remodel project, give us a call with your questions and we’ll help you build your perfect space.