Don"t Let Your "Fixer Upper" Be a Downer

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Taking on the task of remodeling or renovating a home can be quite a challenge, especially if you are a "first timer.
" But even though it is a challenge, and one that requires a significant commitment, the end result are priceless.
Ideally, the finished project should display the originally expected results.
There is nothing worse than devoting countless hours of time and money into a potentially profitable project, and then realizing that it is not at all what you had initially envisioned it to be upon its completion.
Granted, every job is not without its unforeseen hiccups or problems occurring along the way, but overall the end result should be reflected in the original idea.
There are several ways of going about preparation for a renovation, remodel, or rehabilitation on a home.
Making a plan is always the way to go.
Also, doing your homework never hurts.
Most contractors are more than willing to give visit the site of future development and offer you an estimate for free.
Whether there is an initial fee for this initial bid, it is always a good idea to get a second and even a third opinion on what the project will entail and just how much time, money, material, and labor will be involved.
Make sure you know the right questions to ask the contractor prior to your initial meeting with them.
Another thing to consider is credibility.
Any company that you decide to work with should be both licensed and insured.
Proof of workman's compensation and liability insurance should be provided.
Make sure that you physically view copies of insurance certificates and other necessary documentation.
Checking the status of the contractor's license with your local jurisdiction is also a good precaution.
Another good way to inquire about your potential contractor's credibility and integrity is through the oldest form of communication, word of mouth.
Ask around.
Chances are they have worked on other projects in the local area.
Referrals are an excellent resource when working with a new company.
In addition, you should also ask about the types of projects the contractor has previously worked on or been involved in.
They may have a specific area that they specialize in.
It is important to know if they predominantly work in commercial or residential renovations or if they work primarily on custom homes for their clients.
Referrals are also a useful source if you wish to find out legal information on the company, contractor, and workers that you are planning to, or in some cases deciding not to, work with.
Having some insight on any issues, legal or otherwise, that the company has dealt with in the past will clarify your overall judgment.
There is no reason why you should not inquire about whether they have been sued before for work related issues.
Working with a reputable company and finding out all you can about past projects and customer relations with previous clients is essential.
Locating a contractor is one job, but then there is also the task of finding out what is needed prior to any of the changes to the home can be made.
It is imperative that you are well aware of what permits are required and that they are officially obtained before the beginning of any construction.
Making sure the contractor gets permits is not only legally necessary, but it also offers more of a guarantee to you that the contractor will not provide you with work that is done incorrectly and/or below the standard requirements of the law.
It is always best to know exactly who are working with in any contractual arrangement.
Meeting the owner of the company offers more of a sense of security and is always a good way to solidify any agreement.
Meeting with the owner can also offer more information on the overall organization of the project will be.
Plans for scheduling which include dates of completion for each specific area that is being remodeled or renovated can be decided upon and should be included in the agreement.
Investing a little more time and effort in research speaks volumes when it come to working with a new company and could potentially save you a lot of money, time, and hardship in the future.
For more information on contractors and/or owners of the company you wish to work with, you can also check with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
They have a brochure titled "How to Select a Remodeling Professional" that they offer to home buyers and home owners for free.
You can also receive this brochure by contacting the organization by telephone at (800)611-NARI.
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