5 Smart Home Renovation Tips

5 Smart Home Renovation Tips
  • Opening Intro -

    It is your home and you will soon be paying thousands perhaps tens of thousands of dollars to have it renovated.

    Your investment is a costly one, but something you believe will pay off with a home that is more enjoyable for your family and one that improves in value accordingly.


Before you get started, the following smart home renovation tips should be kept in mind.

1. Find the right contractor.

The person that will oversee your job if you are doing it yourself will be the head contractor. This person is there to see to it that your job is carried out according to your wishes. He will review or draw up your blueprints, obtain the necessary permits and hire subcontractors to get the job done.

Know what renovations you want to get done ahead of time. Find the right individual to carry out your project.

2. Obtain and call references.

A home contractor may come highly recommended from a friend, a neighbor or a business associate, but do not hire a contractor on the basis of just one recommendation. You want to obtain the names and phone numbers of at least three customers, preferably individuals that have used the contractor’s services in the past year.

Contact each reference and ask questions that can help you determine if they were satisfied with the job. Find out if the job was done satisfactorily, whether it came within budget and ask if problems arose. You will want to find out how each problem was handled and if the homeowner was satisfied with the response.

3. Hire your contractor.

Once you are satisfied that you have the right contractor and this professional is available to handle your job, meet with this person to discuss a payment plan.

Work with your contractor on a payment plan. Typically, you will pay 10 percent of the project up front. In fact, in some states contractors are limited to a certain percentage or dollar amount to start the job. At certain intervals through the project, you will be expected to release additional funds. For instance, 25 percent may be released at scheduled intervals as the project progresses with the final 15 percent paid out once the job is done. Create a sensible payment plan that both you and the contractor agree upon.

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4. Monitor the job.

You don’t need to look over your contractor’s shoulder as the job is being accomplished. However, you do need to communicate with the contractor and speak up if you see that something is wrong.

Let the contractor know that you expect his workers to be insured, to clean up after themselves and to get the job done according to your specifications. If you are not satisfied with a worker, ask the contractor to have this individual replaced.

5. Make tough decisions.

Your contractor will call upon you throughout the job process to gauge your feedback and to make decisions on various parts of the project. Some decisions will be easy and may include choosing a faucet’s design, selecting wallpaper and finding the right knobs for your kitchen cabinets.

Other decisions may be more complex and could cost you additional money. For instance, if your contractor discovers that your sewer line is not up to code, it could cost you more money to remedy the problem. You may be faced with modifying part of your job or canceling the costly part. You may need to go to your bank to obtain a loan to pay for the increased cost.

Contractor Thoughts

A top contractor is worth his price. Work with a professional that comes highly recommended and is willing to listen to and address your concerns. Only make your final payment once you are satisfied that the job is done, that your home is clean and your town’s building inspector has given his stamp of approval. That approval may come in the form of a certificate of occupancy.

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Categories: Contractors

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".