Congratulations! You’ve planned for months, if not years to remodel your home, to finally get the kitchen or bathroom or sunroom of your dreams! And now, the big day is almost here. You have a contractor, you have a plan, and you’re ready to begin the remodeling work. But not so fast: Any remodeling project is going to be a pretty big deal. It’s going to change the character and function of your home. It’s also going to represent a decent investment, and possibly a slight inconvenience for your family while the home is under construction. As such, it’s important that you ensure the proper expectations. Make certain that you know what you should be anticipating by speaking openly with your remodeler. Ask the following ten questions, in particular:
- What’s the schedule? When you ask about the schedule of your remodeling project, make sure you get more than just a beginning and end date. What you need is a rough outline of what’s going to be completed when—benchmarks that will help you to know the project is still on track and that things are being done in the right sequential order.
- Who will be in your home? How big of a crew should you expect to see in your home each day? Will they all be employees of the remodeling company—or will some be outsourced workers? Who will be in charge? Who should you approach if you have any questions or concerns?
- How will the remodeler communicate with you? Speaking of communication, make sure you have a sense of how often progress reports will be given, and in what capacity; should you expect phone calls when the remodeler has a question or an update for you? A text? Something in-person?
- Will there be scheduled meetings or walkthroughs? Get a sense of how often you will need to be present to review progress with your remodeler. Make sure you’re able to schedule this time in advance, as it is an important part of the process!
- What are the potential problems or obstacles with your project? Make sure you know both the best-case and worst-case scenarios. If there is something that gets the project off-course or off-schedule, what is it likely to be? What are the danger areas, in your remodeler’s mind?
- How will the remodeler protect your personal property? How will dust be contained? What measures will be taken to keep your vases and furniture and picture frames safe?
- Who do you contact if there is an after-hours issue or an emergency? And how do you contact this person?
- What decisions do you still need to make? Are there any choices or options you still need to sort through? What are they, and what are your deadlines? How will you communicate your decisions to the remodeler?
- What sort of documentation should you expect to receive, once the project is over? You should ask about getting copies of the marked-up plans—potentially useful if you have any future work done—as well as documentation on product and labor warranties, guaranties, and so on.
- Is there anything else you need to do before the project starts? Usually the answer to this will be no, but always inquire if there is anything you can do to make the progress smoother.
Basically, communication is vital for your remodeling project. You want to feel comfortable and confident speaking with your remodeler. Asking these important questions is a great way to establish that foundation of communication—so by all means, ask away!