Looking to renovate your home? Home renovations are essential in the upkeep of your home so you can maintain the luxury and the stability of your home. Most home renovations are done meticulously, and with the help of a reputable renovation company to ensure that the project is completed without a hitch.
But why renovate your home, especially if it needs no fixing? For one, renovations are different from additions and alterations, which are minor works that are mainly done for aesthetic purposes. Renovations, on the other hand, aim to increase the value of the home, and provide the household with elevated comforts – besides strengthening the foundation of the house.
Here are the top six reasons for you to renovate your home. You’ll need to work with an experienced construction professional to tackle most renovation works, so we recommend scouting for a contractor prior to starting your project.
The first reason is stability. Many old homes may not have as stable foundation as newly-constructed homes, either due to wear and tear, or because modern construction materials have advanced to be stronger. Renovations avoid the high costs of reconstructing the home for the homeowner, which is often the case with dilapidated homes.
Instead, renovations aim to strengthen the foundation of the home by restructuring weak points without having to demolish the home entirely. Depending on the state of the home, renovation may require demolishing part of the home to reconstruct it, or completely leave the home intact. Renovations also repair any issues with the house and its pipelines.
As renovations uphold the strength of the home, safety is also preserved. It is not safe to live in a home that may shatter at any given moment, so renovations can help remove the threat of weak points crashing down. This is often done to commercial areas that have weakened over time to prevent accidents.
Renovations ensure the safety of the people living inside through additional structures as well. Homeowners can choose to add in fail-safe functions in order to prevent any accidents. Of course, the safety of your household matters most, but when your budget does not allow for home reconstruction, renovations provide a safety net.
Renovating your home will also add some pizzazz to your abode. While most renovations are done for structural integrity, homeowners can choose to make alterations to their homes to make them fitting of the current trends.
Decorative renovations can take the form of arched hallways, balconies, garden work, and more. These can be both decorative and functional, but are mostly done for aesthetic purposes. Decorative renovations usually require the assistance of an interior designer, aside from a contractor, to keep the design up with the current home and living trends.
When a home requires renovations, we typically picture a dilapidated house that requires much construction work to get back to its original state. However, renovations can be done on any type of home, including new ones. Homeowners can upgrade their living space by adding new floors to fit their growing household, or advanced functions for better comfort.
These types of renovations are often done with comfort in mind, as the lifestyle of the homeowner is upgraded along with the house. These may include renovations to upgrade kitchen and bathroom fixtures, heating systems, bedroom comfort, and more. For instance, a homeowner may want to include a pool in the backyard or a tub in the bathroom, etc.
A renovated home increases in value compared to a non-renovated home of similar style. Especially for old houses, renovations help upkeep the home, and increase the selling price of the house on the market. This is often done by homeowners looking to sell their home in the near future, hoping that the renovations will cause the market price to increase.
Other than value for money, a renovated home will provide the new homeowner with better living conditions, as well as possible upgraded functionality from the house. This is important for townhouse owners where most houses are constructed similarly. The differences in renovations will determine how salable the house is compared to the neighbors’ homes.
Alongside comfort is functionality, where homeowners can choose to renovate their houses to upgrade systems like the air conditioning system, heating, water lines and pipes, and even electric functions. They may renovate to include solar panels for power, or refurbish their bathrooms to include upgraded water heating systems.
These functions mostly tie up with comfort, as upgrading the home’s functionality increases the comfort levels of the occupants. Whether the house was previously built poorly, or the original homeowner did not have the means to construct their house with these functions doesn’t matter. As long as the renovations go smoothly, homeowners can enjoy better functions in their house.
What to Do Before Selecting a Home Remodeling Contractor?
If you want your home renovation project to come out successful, you’re going to need the help of professionals and this is where a home remodeling contractor comes in. However, you need to understand not all home remodeling contractors offer the same quality services. Because of that, you need to carefully choose the right one for your project so you don’t end up wasting both your time and money. Below are some simple steps you can take so you can make sure that you choose the right contractor for the job.
1. Interview the Contractor
Before choosing a home remodeling contractor, always build rapport to help see if both sides are on the same page. Consider speaking with at least three contractors to help you get better results on finding the ideal expert for your home.
Ask them questions about the projects they’ve done, their experience, and scheduling time to renovate your home. Of course, you want to know what they charge by the hour and if they’re insured. Cover these bases to help you decide whether or not they fit with your goals for the home.
You can get an initial look into what they do and see the comfort level. Remember, you may be working with the contractor for at least a month and want to be clear on everything before the project starts.
2. Do Some Background Research
If you still have trouble deciding on a contractor, do some background research. Look at the online reviews of the contractors you’ve considered hiring. If you see mainly good reviews, it’s a good indicator that they may be ideal for a project.
Look for red flags that may deter you from working with them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family. They have your best interest in mind.
They may have worked with one of your choices and can tell you their experience.
3. Know the Contract Details
You want everything mapped out from the start to the completion date. What hours will the contractor and workers do construction on your home? What products and services do they provide?
Do they need you to pay extra fees for specific things? If the contractor doesn’t pay the subcontractors, will you be held liable for this wrongdoing? Make sure that you go through the whole contract and understand it top to bottom. You don’t want it to bite you in the back.
Also, have everything in writing from the agreement, receipts, and payments. Have a physical and electronic copy for safekeeping.
Be thorough in your requirements to help you select the ideal professional renovator to upgrade your home.
Red Flags You Need To Know Before You Hire A Home Contractor
It can be tough to find the right professional to handle a renovation. Type “local home improvement contractors” into Google and within seconds you’re given countless options. The problem is that you get the good mixed with the bad, and it can be hard to tell which is which at first glance. To complicate the matter, not many people have experience with home remodeling, so they don’t always know what to expect.
This is why it is important to know the red flags when choosing a contractor for your next project. Spotting warning signs of a disreputable or deceptive company means you can put the brakes on the negotiations before you get taken for a ride. As you do more exploration, watch for these warning signs and make sure you don’t make a bad decision.
1. Outdated or Missing References
Word of mouth is a powerful influencer, and contractors know this. That is why most experts are willing to provide the names of past clients. Checking with previous customers is one of the best ways to learn about the quality of work and level of professionalism you can expect to receive. However, if a builder is hesitant to give out references or examples of recent work, be suspicious.
2. Negative Online Reviews
There are multiple places to find online reviews of a contractor’s work, including Yelp and Facebook. Yes, most builders are likely to have at least a few unhappy clients, but look at the bigger picture. If one company has a large number of negative posts, that probably isn’t a coincidence. Pay attention to customers that share many of the same complaints, as this indicates a pattern of performance that might impact your experience.
3. Promising Too Much
It’s always a good idea to research a renovation project and establish a base expectation for the cost and pace of the work. Once you have a general idea of how much time and money it will require, you’ll be able to spot a construction company that is overpromising. If a bid seems excessively low or includes a schedule that appears too quick, do not be fooled. These could be signs that the contractor will cut corners or hit you with unexpected fees. Accept the lowest bid if you are comfortable with it but watch for offers that seem too good to be true.
4. Not Having Proper Documentation
Any builder worth his or her salt will be fully licensed and insured and will have the paperwork to prove it. If you ask a contractor for this documentation and only receive excuses, that’s a bad sign. It could mean that you’re being scammed. Lack of insurance might also put you on the hook for any injuries or damages that occur on your property. Either way, steer clear of this situation.
5. Insisting on Cash-Only Payment
A reputable company should be able to accept payment in cash, check, money order or credit card. However, if the one you choose insists on being paid only with cash, be wary. It could be a sign that the builder is trying to keep your project off the books, or that he or she is planning to take the money and run. Do not take a contractor’s word that you only have one option when paying for the work.
6. Requesting Too Much Money Up Front
There is nothing wrong with a company that asks for a down payment before starting a job. This is very common and often necessary because workers need to secure building materials or other supplies. If, however, you are asked to put up more than half the total cost before anything is done, don’t do it. The contractor could be preparing to ditch you and move to the next town. Instead, it’s best to determine a verifiable payment plan before you begin the project.
7. Working Without a Contract
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect against a scam artist is get everything in writing. Even if you trust the builder, it could become a problem if he or she works without a contract. A legitimate agreement should include an itemized budget, start date and estimated completion date. Additionally, make sure you have language that clarifies how any unexpected changes will be handled, such as contingent costs or schedule extensions.
8. Poor Communication
The success of any renovation will depend on how well you get along with the contractor. If you have difficulty reaching anyone on the phone when you have questions or concerns, it might be time to find someone else. Be realistic, though — these are busy people with a lot on their plates. Generally, 48 hours is a reasonable period to expect a response.