Contractors , Communication and Respect
Part 1 contained information about how to find your contractor. Now we’re going to discuss what happens next.
First Meeting and Follow-up
Meetings with contractors should include the major decision-maker(s) when the appointments are scheduled, because communication, compatibility and respect are important parts of the working relationship.
When contractors come to your home for the first time, it should be during daylight hours, if possible, so they can see details inside and out that may affect your project. You may have to accommodate a very early morning appointment, or you may have to take time away from work for the meeting. They will want to see your electrical panel and other utility connections, in addition to seeing all areas adjacent to the areas you’re planning to remodel or add. They may want to quickly inspect the attic and crawl space (or basement); problems in these areas could also affect your investment. (more…)
Remodeling Horror Story: Trick Or Treat?
The title of this blog is seasonal, but unfortunately, a “Trick or Treat” remodeling horror story happens year ’round. It’s not limited to one type of remodeling project. Here is a remodeling “horror” story list, bad experiences that were avoidable:
- A D-I-Y basement renovation that got out of hand.
- A master bathroom project that was totally bungled by a designer who acted as the general contractor.
- A D-I-Y master bedroom expansion into an adjoining bedroom; taking out a bearing wall is a NO-NO!
- A bad deck replacement done by an unlicensed contractor that left the Homeowners with no legal recourse.
- A new home that had all of the hot and cold lines swapped by the plumber.
- A D-I-Y floor refinishing project that ended up with the floor being replaced after the sanding drum was installed backwards, chewing up the floor.
- Homeowners who had purchased appliances ten years before the actual remodeling, and ended up donating the appliances because they wouldn’t fit in the new kitchen.
Your Contractor Wants You To Find Him/Her!
The best way to find your contractor is referrals — from neighbors, friends, family, or business associates. These are your best resources, especially people who’ve remodeled recently. You can also get referrals from the showrooms you’ve visited. Don’t rely on advertisements. They can be misleading. You’ll be better off to contact your local professional remodeling organizations (NAHB, NARI, or NKBA) for several names and phone numbers. Most local building departments will not refer contractors. It’s a conflict of interest.
Two Warnings About Referrals:
- Don’t hire a one-person contractor who says he/she does everything. An unforeseen family emergency, illness or injury can ruin time projections. There aren’t enough hours in the day for a general contractor to draw plans, manufacture cabinets, and work on your project. Overall quality of your project will suffer.
Improve An Ugly Basement With A Beautiful New Bathroom!
This is a home built in the 1950s, with the living room, formal dining room, kitchen, small bathroom, and bedrooms on the main floor. Only one person could occupy the bathroom at a time. For a family of three, that presented a scheduling problem. There wasn’t enough room to expand the existing bathroom, and the full basement was under-utilized,. The Homeowners wondered if it would be possible to have a new basement bathroom with a two-person shower that looked and felt luxurious. They had an idea, had done some research, and had talked with a couple of contractors, but they were still confused about what to do.
The best location for the new bathroom was below the main-floor bathroom, so plumbing supply, drain, and vent pipes could be extended.The unfinished basement had enough space to comply with ceiling height codes, but there was a large furnace duct that hung below the bottom of the joists. If left like this, it was going to look awkward. An HVAC specialist verified that new wider and shallower ducts would maintain the required air flow. Most pipes and wires wouldn’t be a problem, but the main drain had to be re-routed so it would comply with the slope required by the plumbing code. (more…)
Kitchen Remodeling Can Be An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride
Preparing for, and living through a kitchen remodeling is similar to a roller coaster ride. You’re waiting with excited anticipation and some trepidation, preparing to get on the ride. You’ve heard from others that it’s scary; it’s even made some of them physically sick. But none of them can tell you details about the ride. All they can tell you is how they felt.
The Roller Coaster Ride
It feels like an eternity as you move ahead slowly toward the loading area, step by step. Then you get seated, strapped in, and you’re ready to move forward. But instead of rushing ahead fast, the roller coaster goes up a steep, never-ending climb. You think, “When will we get started?” Then, WHOOSH! you’re propelled down the first of many exciting dives at break-neck speed. You’re jerked around, back and forth, through every sharp turn. You never know which way the ride is going until you’re there.
Without warning, you’re upside-down, going through a series of surprising loops, G-force that makes it hard to breathe. You’re screaming your head off, but no one can hear you. Part of you wants to get off, but another part wants to stay, hoping that the ride will get less scary before it ends. You know it’s over when your cart pulls back to where you started and comes to an abrupt stop, jerking you forward. You’re dizzy, a little nauseated, but exhilarated. “That was fun!” Later, someone asks you how soon it will be until you get on another roller coaster ride. With a weak smile, you reply, “It’ll be a long time until I do that again!” (more…)
Remodeled Angular Kitchen Was A Big Challenge!
The remodeled angular kitchen functions and looks great, but the original kitchen looked and felt like an after-thought. The function was impaired by multiple 45- and 90-degree angles. Homeowners wanted their remodeled angular kitchen to work for them daily, and provide a functional area for multiple chefs and servers when they entertained. Their kitchen wish list included the following features: (more…)