Things to Consider ​Before ​ Renovating, 4/5: Preparations

Neighbors and Neighborhood: Another consideration when seeking a meaningful referral would be to speak to a neighbor who has also done a project similar to yours. If they also did a restoration like yours, that’ll be helpful. If they added backyard cottage on a similar-sized lot as yours, that too will be valuable. Ask them questions that gets to the core of what made their renovation a success and/or what they would have done differently or better.

Permits and Codes: When hiring a general contractor, one of the benefits you are selecting is someone to manage as many of the details of building the addition to your specifications and that of your local municipality. Selecting a reputable, local builder will mean that they will typically be better versed in the rules and codes. So, be certain to include this in your agreement and ask how your plans and designs will fit into local codes. The confidence of knowing that an inspector will sign-off on the new structure is peace of mind for both safety and potential cost nightmares if it is not.

Assurances: By now, you’ve got a pretty solid sense of how a good general contractor is the manager that can drive a better sense of confidence. Peace of mind. Another area that this should be true is in the managing of all of the subcontractors you will need to make that addition happen. Expect that the contractor will have likely secured the necessary permits and will ensure that each of the subcontractors finish their work on time and are paid. When the project is done, there won’t be an unpaid invoice from a subcontractor or a lien to surprise you with.

Timelines: As we discussed earlier, one of the justifications for hiring a contractor vs. DIY, is being able to nail down a better start and finish date. Knowing how long something will take means you can create a better orbit around your personal life. You can decide whether to stay on the premises while the work is done. Ask yourself how long you want to hear the sounds of hammers and experience sawdust. As we discuss summarize in the “expectations” segment next, knowing means you can plan. There are few things that go towards a successful remodeling project than being able to know what to expect.