Home Advice from a Seasoned Professional

If you’re planning to remain in your current home instead of buying a new one, you need to be sure you’ve got a line-up of trusted contractors to work with. Anytime you make a remodeling or renovation change, such as a kitchen, bathroom, sunroom addition, or something else, it’s important to choose a trusted contractor and have the design pre-planned.

One of the biggest recommendations I can make is to hire an interior designer to work with right away. Interior design contractors are adept at determining how to get the look and style you want with various color schemes and within a reasonable budget. Their design expertise plays a huge role in the success of your project because you have to have a good feel for how the home will end up looking so you’re not wasting your money to redo it afterwards.

Another huge piece of advice is to forget about trying to be trendy. Your home has a certain feel to it; there are elements that are classic that you just shouldn’t mess with. Focus your remodeling and design on small areas of the house where a change can improve it but still blend in. If you choose to make a sizable change just because it’s a trend, you’ll end up facing exorbitant fees to change it later if it wears out its welcome.

The third piece of advice I would give to a homeowner, especially a new one, is to make a list of everything you need – an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC contractor, etc., and ask your neighbors if they have anyone trusted they can recommend. If they don’t, visit the local HBA meetings to find good workers who participate in the community. Members of the local chamber or HBA are more likely to he honest, upstanding members of society. Chances are also good that someone else in the group or that the group knows has used their services before and can speak to their character. The last thing you need is a crappy service that you pay through the teeth for.

The fourth piece of advice to find someone you like. In speaking with different people, you’ll notice that some contractors you click with and others you just don’t. That’s okay. It’s wise to choose someone you like (or at least trust) because you’re going to end up spending a lot of time with them as they make the required remodeling changes to your home. Communication is key. If you can talk to this person and they respond as you’d expect, you’re in good hands.

The last piece of advice is to dig into the profiles of the contractors you’re considering working with. Most of them will have social media profiles, accounts on Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and other websites. Now is a great opportunity to check their ratings and see what other people are saying about them. I’d also caution you to avoid jumping on the lowest possible bid. Certain renovation projects require a large investment, and the super cheap bid will not get the job done; the low bid indicates that the contractor is new, inexperienced, or planning to rip you off. Whatever the case, you don’t want to be involved. A simple search online on websites like Home Advisor can give you an idea of local pricing for your project. Looking at the bids you received, how close is the average? If they’re reasonably priced, make the call and have the contractor over for an estimate.