Buying or remodeling a house is a major financial decision that can bring you peace of mind and a comfortable place to live. It’s not surprising, however, that so many homeowners experience fear and anxiety when embarking on a home remodeling project. It doesn’t help that there are plenty of unfavorable remodeling experiences shared among friends, family, or neighbors and posted online—homeowners who have gotten tricked into trusting disreputable contractors, and lost tens of thousands of dollars. So, how can you overcome these imaginable home remodeling fears?
Whether you are a first-time homeowner or you’ve survived a remodeling project in the past, the most important first step is to become well-educated about your home, your project options, and how to find the right remodeling professional for you.
We’ve outlined five of the most commonly-shared remodeling fears and how to address each one intelligently, so you can prevent these remodeling mishaps from happening to you.
Fear 1: I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong decisions and won’t like the results.
The idea of spending thousands of dollars and sacrificing months of dust, noise, and inconvenience only to be disappointed in the end result is enough to scare away any homeowner. What if the materials don’t match? What if the craftsmanship is poor? Doing it once is disruptive enough, but getting it wrong and having to redo it is soul-crushing.
There are a couple of ways to banish these remodeling fears and ensure your project turns out exactly as you expect. First, consider working with a design-build remodeling firm that helps you create a detailed plan and scope of work for your project right from the beginning. A reputable design-build firm will not only help you flush out all of the “must have” and “like-to-have” details of your home remodel, but they will also offer creative solutions tied to a realistic and pre-approved budget. Then, upon guiding you through smooth remodel, they will ensure your remodel finishes on time, and on budget.
The more effort you spend with your design-build firm to conceptualize and plan your remodel, the more likely your project will turn out exactly how you envisioned it. Ask your contractor as many questions as you need to understand the process. The right contractor will be happy to answer your questions and give you the chance to sign off on each detail before construction begins. Allow yourself the grace to be fully immersed in the process, and you’ll start feeling more confident in the remodeling process and the results you hope for.
Secondly, during the planning stages, sophisticated computer systems can be used to help you envision your project well before construction begins. This takes the guesswork out of your design decisions. Remodeling firms that use 3D-design modeling can help you visualize your project in its entirety, including finishes, colors, textures, and other details. It can also create exact measurements and catch potential design or proportion inconsistencies during the planning stage.
Fear 2: My contractor will not finish on time.
We’ve all heard horror stories of contractors that walked off job sites before they were completed. The best way to overcome this remodeling fear is to do your due diligence. Commit to reading online reviews and ask for client references. When looking through reviews on Houzz or Google, it’s essential to look deeper than just the number of stars. Read the comments—as many as you can. Take notes and see if you uncover any patterns. How does the contractor handle challenges? What do they do well? How long have they worked in the area? What is their specialty? How consistent is the quality? How often do they finish on time or on budget? Note what customers liked and what they didn’t like when working with the contractor. Be particularly cautious of working with a contractor that doesn’t have a past or current review on Houzz, Facebook, Google or a third party review site such as GuildQuality.
Beyond online reviews, be sure to call on client references. If possible, try and speak to a homeowner who has completed a similar project as yours. Ask to see the work done in their home. Sometimes, it may even be possible to visit a home remodel that is currently in process. Above all, make sure you ask detailed questions of the homeowner, probing into their experience in working with the contractor. Also, make sure the contractor can verify it has insurance. A reputable contractor will be pleased to provide the information you ask for.
Fear 3: I’m going to blow my budget.
Going over budget is a huge concern for most homeowners. Even if your budget is generous, it likely has limits. It’s important to work with a reputable remodeling contractor that can design a project plan that meets your fixed budget before construction gets underway.
Traditionally, homeowners seek to work with an architect or designer first, separate from a contractor. In this way, design details are worked out before soliciting bids to a contractor. After a contractor is hired, change orders are then used to account for changes in the project scope. In this traditional design-bid-build approach, the budget is derived from the project’s design.
In contrast, a design-build firm works in collaboration with you, the designer and contractor develop a cohesive project plan fit to an agreed upon budget and timeline. Rather than the budget being derived from the project’s design, the design is derived as a result of the owner’s budget.
In addition, it is always best practice to plan a reserve budget for unknowns or changes you might make after construction begins. A reputable contractor will help you plan and provide a detailed scope of work, so hidden costs don’t seep into your project. Also, don’t hesitate to address any questions or concerns about budget items with your contractor. A reputable design-build firm will help you stay on budget and on schedule—as part of their delivery process.
Fear 4: The remodeling project will drag on forever.
Secondary to budget, homeowners are fearful of their home remodeling project going over a scheduled timeline. While the length of a remodeling project depends on its complexity (whether it requires HVAC, removing walls, or making structural changes, for example) it also requires coordinating suppliers, vendors and many other moving parts. Although every remodel has its hidden challenges that can impact a project’s timeline, working with a professional design-build team will certainly increase your likelihood that it will finish on time.
Reputable design-build firms utilize proven processes that start with a realistic and detailed timeline—built from years of experience working with vendors, suppliers and their own in-house team of lead and finish carpenters. You can also count on being assigned a dedicated project manager who is held accountable for keeping your project on schedule.
Fear 5: I’m not sure I can handle the inconvenience and the mess!
Unfortunately, remodeling is a necessarily disruptive and messy business—there’s no way around it. By planning ahead, however, you can better cope with the inconveniences.
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, for example, you can set up a temporary kitchen in another room. You can also temporarily adjust your family’s meal plan by changing from heavily prepared meals to semi-homemade foods. You’ll want to stock up on nonperishable items, disposable plates and silverware, and choose recipes that are best prepared with small appliances. Instead of a stove, switch to meals cooked on electric skillets or in a microwave. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, plan to use a secondary bath for a period of time. Create a daily morning schedule where family members can be assigned specific bathing/grooming times to prevent traffic jams. All in all, a little inconvenience for a period of time is a small price to pay for a fabulous new kitchen, bathroom, or whole house remodel!
A reputable contractor will also take extensive measures to protect your home from excess dirt, dust, and damage. Be sure to ask how they control dust, damage, and air pollution in your home during construction.
Hire a West Lafayette Design-Build Firm You Can Trust
Riverside Construction has helped homeowners dispel fear and embrace the delight of beautiful, precise remodeling projects that meet and exceed their expectations.
Whether a kitchen, bathroom, home addition, or basement remodel, Riverside Construction promises an enjoyable, smooth remodeling experience, delivered on time and on budget. Check out our online reviews and view our extensive portfolio of work.
If you are thinking about remodeling your home but aren’t sure where to begin, sign up for our monthly newsletter full of remodeling expertise and ideas. And be sure to schedule a consultation when you are ready to dig into the details of your home remodeling project or call (765) 838-1644.