Home Improvement

How to Design Your Remodel With a Good Contractor

Hiring a contractor can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the remodeling process. If this person is difficult to work with, then you might not get what you want, and even the most agreeable contractors could go way over budget and extend the length of the project by several months. This could turn your dream remodel into a nightmare until you just want to get the whole project done. Fortunately, it’s possible to find a contractor that you like working with and will stick to the plan. Make sure you follow these search criteria as you start remodeling your home.

Consider the Inner Workings of Your Home As Well

Image via Flickr by AdamCohn

Your home remodel goes deeper than choosing new paint, carpet, and accessories, as you also have to think about the inner workings of your home. Failing to budget for this in the short run means you could struggle to pay for upgrades in the long run when something breaks. Just because the home inspector says the air conditioning works fine today doesn’t mean it might not break next year.

As you go through your home and decide what to remodel, consider upgrading the inner workings as well, like the plumbing, electrical wiring, and appliances. For example, upgrading the HVAC system in your home now will prevent damage to your new floors if you do have to install a new unit, and can work to keep the energy bills down over the next several months.

Hire Someone Whose Work Matches Your Personal Style

When you’re interviewing contractors, look over their portfolios and ask them what they’re most excited about and what types of remodels they love doing. While they might be able to design in multiple different styles, it helps if they’re interested in the types of design that you like.

For example, a contractor who specializes in man caves might automatically be inclined to suggest dark hardwood floors or more masculine furniture options. This isn’t ideal if you’re trying to remodel a beach house or a home with lots of light interior design. Plus, designing your home with someone who matches your style is like going clothes shopping with a best friend. You both will get excited about the same things and pick out options that match the style goals.

Go Beyond Review Sites in Your Evaluations

Review sites like Angie’s List are a great place to start when you’re looking for a contractor; however, they shouldn’t be the only source you use to evaluate your potential hire. Start with these sites to find a handful of contractors, and then ask them for a list of past clients you could call and talk to about their work.

When you talk to these past clients, ask what you thought the contractor could have done to improve and what it’s like working with them. This will give you an accurate picture of what it will be like over the next few months.

You can’t guarantee an easy process when it comes to hiring a contractor to remodel your home, but these steps can reduce the risk of finding someone you can’t work with.


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