What you need to know before starting.

Before starting any home renovation project you need to ask questions up front, in the middle, and all the way to the end.

Here are 10 things you need to know (and ask) before beginning a renovation:

  • How often will you be at my house? Am I one of multiple jobs going on at the same time?
  • Who will be doing the work? Is the contractor a Jack of all Trades (and a master of none)?
  • Do you have a police record? You'd be surprised! Ask to see the contractors liability insurance and license. Ask for references, and call them.
  • Should I go with the cheapest? Ultimately, you get what you pay for. How detailed are the estimates? Does it include all items you requested? Allow room for changes?
  • Are you here to make it pretty? Your contractor likely has great ideas, but he/she isn't a designer. Designers can help you to realize and execute your vision and can prevent your project from becoming a moving target.
  • What about your 'daily work conditions?' What are the working hours? Who will take out the trash? Will you protect my floors?
  • Are you recommending the right equipment? For HVAC, tankless water heaters, and other expensive items, get a specialist to find out what your energy load is and make the recomendations.
  • Are you going to tell me what to do? It's your job to figure out what is practical for you, not what is popular.
  • How do you accept payment? All up front, at the end, along the way? 
  • Should I assume that everyone is on the same page? Your contractor is the primary communication link between you and sub-contractors. Make sure everyone is on the same page.