What to Expect When You’re Renovating
Facing your first home renovation project can take you on a roller coaster of emotion: the thrill of improving your home, the anxiety of the cost, and the uncertainty of how it will impact your life. Regardless of the specific project or how extensive it is, there are a few things that you can expect. You can expect that the renovation will cause some upheaval in your day-to-day routine. Not only will a part of your home be out of commission while it is being remodeled, there will be teams of people coming in and out, with loud tools, to do the work. Your home will essentially become their office, so you can expect to see their equipment in places that may not be ideal or convenient for you. You can also expect some dust and dirt and debris, and for your things (namely, the things that were in the current construction zone) to be out of place. Home renovation in Los Angeles and other sunny climates usually doesn’t have to contend with inclement weather; if you live in a less cooperative climate, you can expect weather delays. You can almost guarantee that something unexpected will happen, and that your actual cost and timeline will be slightly above your projected cost and timeline.
While it is wise to prepare yourself to relinquish some control of your home during your home renovation, there are certain things you can avoid if you take the time to research, plan, and make good decisions in the beginning. Perhaps the greatest area of control you have is in selecting your contractor. If you’ve ever heard friends or family members tell stories of their horrible home renovation experiences, it is likely that they either attempted the renovations themselves, or simply hired the wrong contractor. The wrong contractor is not licensed or insured, leaving you on the hook when something goes wrong on your project. The wrong contractor comes with inherent risks, workers who aren’t trustworthy, and a poor record with the Better Business Bureau; he is irresponsible, disorganized, difficult to reach, and generally unconcerned with delivering you the project you wanted or paid for. And because he won’t advertise any of these less than reassuring qualities, you won’t know unless you spend some time seeking out the right contractor.
When you hire and work with the right contractor, you will have a much lower-stress experience. He will pay attention to what you want and work hard to achieve it. The right contractor has reliable employees that have passed background checks, the right tools and equipment to get your job done, and a commitment to upholding his good reputation. He will be considerate of the fact that he is working in your house, and you will be able to trust that he and his crew will leave your home in the same condition (or better) as they entered it. There will still be some stress and some mess, but the right contractor makes all the difference in your project.