Are you thinking about a home improvement project in the near future? CH Construction understands that any home remodeling project will affect you and your family’s life. We have come up with 9 questions to ask before you remodel your home. Your contractor, the Home Owners Association (HOA), City or County offices are places to go to find the details of these remodel questions. We can help by giving the questions to ask.
How will this affect my family’s life?
With any remodel project, it does affect a family’s daily lifestyle. You will have carpenters and laborers on your property daily until the project is complete. We recommend, when planning the project with your contractor to coordinate a start and finish timeline that will work with your schedule.
Will you be expecting guest? If so, you will obviously want to avoid that time period. Are you planning a vacation and be unavailable to talk with your contractor that would also be a time to avoid. Another thing you will want to consider is the weather. If you are having interior work done to your home, laborers will be in and out of your home. This increases the chances of dirt being tracked into your home. Choosing a drier season would decrease mud being tracked into the house. Requesting the laborers where booties over their shoes when entering the home will help alleviate the tracking of debris into the house.
Weather can also determine when a project can begin for exterior remodeling. For proper curing of concrete it needs to be temperatures above 50° degrees Fahrenheit for three to seven days. While moving the lumber and building an exterior project will affect your yard. You will want to consider a time of year that will minimize the wear on your yard. A good general contractor will want to meet your needs and help accommodate your concerns.
Does the HOA have any guidelines?
Before you get too far into the planning a home remodel project you will want to review your Home Owners Association’s (HOA) covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs). Be sure to have the most recent CC&R’s or speak to a board member directly. By having the HOA approve of your renovations before you start, you can avoid possible expenses if you have to make changes to meet their requirements. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure the project is compliant.
Will the noise affect my family and neighbors?
Contractors have tight schedules to meet all their demands and deadlines. When meeting with your contractor discuss when the labors will begin and end their day. If you do not want them onsite before 8 am, please make sure you address this with the contractor before signing your contract. Speak with your neighbors to let them know you will be renovating your home and there will be an increase in noise and vehicles do to the building of the project. Choose a designated parking area, for the laborers to park, please let them know before the project begins.
To avoid conflicts with your neighbors, be respectful of how your project will affect them. Addressing the issues that may come up in advance can keep a good relationship with your neighbors.
Will my pet be affected?
If a dog or cat that will need to be around the work renovations, you need to discuss this with your contractor. Your contractor can help you address these concerns. A pet that isn’t allowed outside, finding a safe place to keep your pet during that time period during the day might be a solution. A pet afraid of loud noises can cause them stress. Again, finding a safe place to keep them away from the noise will help your pet. If there is a chance your pet will bite, make sure it is up to date on vaccinations and keep the pet away from the workers. The noise, activity and strangers on your property can make a docile pet stressed. Take precautions to avoid any incidents that could put your pet or the workers at risk.
Can we stay in the house while we are renovating?
Most renovations to a home will allow a home owner to reside in their home. Speak to your contractor before the project begins and discuss the timeline of the project. Sometimes a project requires a roof or wall to be removed. Ask the contractor how long will the structure be exposed. Request that it not be done on a Friday, leaving it exposed for the weekend. Inquire about the safety measures that will be taken during that removal process to protect your home from the elements of nature. Knowing these precautions before that portion of the project will help you plan ahead.
How long will the project take?
When a home owner meets with a contractor he can give them an estimation of time. If he tells the home owner an exact time, they may have to question if he is the contractor for them. Weather, material delays and unexpected situations while remodeling can affect the project time schedule.
For example, when removing a window a contractor may find you have wood rot in the framing. This is an unexpected situation that will require removing the wood rot and replace the material before reinstalling a window. Occasionally, a home improvement store will deliver the wrong material. This can cause a delay while waiting for the store to pick up and redeliver the correct material. If the contractor says it will be a 4 – 6 week schedule. He is allowing for these unexpected occurrences. If all goes well, your project will be complete in 4 weeks. Remember, any changes the home owner makes during the project, can affect the original project schedule.
When will the material arrive?
Again, this is a question you can address with your contractor. If you are hiring a general contractor, he will be the one placing the material order. If a home owner chooses to be the general contractor, than they will be placing the material order. It depends on the material ordered as to when it should be delivered. If ordering wood, a day or two in advance of the project starting is best. Interior material that can be placed in the garage or inside the home can be delivered whenever is convenient for the home owner. Often, the home owner can find a sale on interior items and purchasing them in advance to the start date of the project can save them money.
Where will the material be placed?
This is something a contractor or home improvement store can answer specifically. Most deliveries of wood are placed on the driveway. This prevents the dampness of the ground to penetrate the wood directly. If the project is in your back yard or inside, the labors will move the material as needed to the project. As mentioned above, material needed for an interior project can be stored in the garage. Prepare a space for the material in advance; this will help eliminate last minute stress.
Finally, research how to be prepared for your remodel project. Knowledge of what to expect can help you avoid any stressful situation. Good communication with your contractor is the key to a successful home improvement project. At your initial meeting, inquire about his response time in communication. This will give you a time frame of when to expect a response.
Like any business man your contractor is a busy man. A good contractor will respond within 24 to 48 hours. Ask your contractor about weekend responses. The weekend is when your family is at home and you may have the time to review the projects progress. Thus, you may have questions for him. Since your contractor is likely a family man, he may not be available to respond during the weekend. This is something you may want to discuss in advance. Knowing a communication response time in advance, will alleviate any stress when you don’t get an immediate response from your contractor.
Being prepared for a home remodel project is important. It’s an exciting time and been an enjoyable process. If CH Construction can assist you in your future home remodel, please give us a call.