Is it better to remodel or move? If your family has outgrown your current home, you might be wondering if it is best to add on extra space with a home addition or to move. Neither option is perfect for every family. There are many reasons why adding on to their home is best for one family while moving is the best option for a different family. Consider some of the reasons people pick one choice over the other.
Picture It: Multiple generations living nearby. Grandparents get to spend time with the grandchildren, and mom and dad can be there to support their parents as they get older. If you're worried that it could get very crowded, you should know it doesn't have to be. In this vision, everyone has their own space.
When planning a home remodeling project, choosing a quality remodeling contractor is often the most important step in ensuring your satisfaction with the results. After all, you want someone who has experience completing projects to specifications, using quality materials, staying on budget, and meeting any deadlines they set.
But how do you know which contractors are reliable enough to hire?
Knowing what red flags to look out for is key when determining who among potential contracting candidates can provide their services dependably and efficiently. Read on how to identify warning signs indicating it's best to continue your search elsewhere.
1. Poor Communication
Communication is essential when hiring a contractor, no matter the size of the project. Your contractor should be in contact with you through every step of the process and keep you well informed. Contractors often have a preference for how they communicate with you, but they shouldn’t force you to use one or the other. For example, when choosing a remodeling contractor, if you prefer to use email, yet they rely on text messages, they should be willing to follow your specifications, at least for the most important communications.
You can often get a good idea of how effective a communicator a contractor is in your initial dealings with him or her. For example, is the general contractor quick to respond to e-mails or calls, and do they respond professionally? If not, then it might be time to look elsewhere.
2. Won’t Show a License or Insurance
Arizona law requires a license for most types of construction work. However, many home remodeling contractors claim to have a license and don’t. That can be bad for homeowners, especially if they get work from someone who hasn’t invested the time or effort to qualify for a license. Failing to get or keep a license may mean that someone doesn’t have the qualifications for the work they’re advertising. It might also mean they had a license, but there were so many complaints about their work that theRegistrar of Contractors revoked it.
When considering a potential contractor, ask them to show proof of license. If they can’t, there is a reason. Even if they show one, looking them up at the business bureau or the state licensing board is smart. This way, you can verify that your contractor has an active license and confirm that they’re licensed to do the work you need. As theArizona Registrar of Contractors' website states, "Anyone can pretend to be a contractor. Check the license."
When following up on the licensing, ask about insurance, such as liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Some projects require additional insurance to protect you, your property, and the workers on the job. Most contractors will cover this as part of their estimate, but you’ll want to follow up. If something goes wrong, the last thing you want is to get sued and be held liable for an accident you didn’t cause.
3. An Impossibly Low Estimate
No homeowner wants to spend more than they need to when undergoing a home renovation. However, a general contractor who offers a significantly lower estimate than others is a potential red flag. Their low bid may indicate that they are cutting corners or not including all of the costs involved in your remodeling project (expenses such as dust protection, debris clean-up or employing licensed sub-contractors).
4. Very Little in Writing
When you hire a contractor, documentation is the best way to protect yourself as a homeowner. When you conduct most of your communication over the phone or in person, you lose access to those records that help you ensure you get what you want. Sometimes, you have a misunderstanding with a contractor that would be better clarified in writing. Be wary if they’re unwilling to answer your questions by email or text. Contractors who won’t communicate with you in a way that leaves a paper trail may be trying to cover their tracks.
This is particularly true for the estimate. Never take someone’s “back of the napkin” quote as a final indication of what something costs or the total cost of what they expect you to pay. Get a detailed estimate and review it carefully before you let anyone start work or request permits. Go through each item and make sure that you understand it all. If you see vague terms in the estimates or categories like “labor” that cover the whole project, get clarification.
5. Lack of Past Work
Reputable remodeling contractors should have photos of their work from former clients readily available in a portfolio or gallery of completed remodeling project pictures on their website--not stock images. If you’re unsure whether someone’s work is their own, do a reverse image search to confirm.
Additionally, look at the contractor's online reviews in places like Houzz, Google and Facebook to help gauge their reputation and check references. This will also help you understand better the types of remodeling projects they do.
6. Inability to Obtain a Permit
Any reputable contractor should be happy to go through the process of obtaining any necessary building permits from your local government. If a contractor asks you to get the permits for any reason, this should be considered a red flag. More than likely, this contractor is asking you to do the work because he or she isn'tlicensed to obtain the permits as a contractor, which is a huge red flag. You may need to sign the paperwork, but that's the extent of your involvement in the permit process.
7. Requesting Total Upfront Payment
Contractors will set up a payment schedule and review it with you before the job even begins. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a portion of your project cost upfront, but you should never be expected to pay in full before the home renovation project has started. A contractor who wants your business should allow you to put down a deposit and then render the remaining payment throughout the project or upon the project's successful completion. Ensure the contractor has clearly outlined the full payment terms and schedule in their contract or construction agreement so all parties understand when progress payments are due and for how much.
Also, be skeptical of any home remodeling contractor who asks you to pay by cash only. You want to have a record of your payment, and money doesn't allow for this. You'll have a payment record by paying by credit card or check. Additionally, only make checks payable to the company name; a home remodel contractor who asks you to write a check out to him may not be properly set up as a legitimate business.
There's much to remember when searching for the perfect contractor for your home improvement project. Take the stress and hassle out of this task; you deserve to enjoy remodeling your home.Learn more about the Hochuli's, and look at these additional homeowner resourceswe've included to help you choose a quality remodeling contractor for your project that you can trust.
Before you schedule a meeting with your design and remodeling team, you may spend some time evaluating a number of companies. You’ll ask about their experience with projects like yours, as well as verify that they have the proper licensing and insurance to do the work. Once you get to your first big design meeting, you may have lots of ideas to share. It’s also important to ask these questions.
You’ve decided to remodel your home, and you couldn’t be more excited. The finished result is a goal you may have been waiting for years to achieve. And yet, before you enjoy it, you have to go through it. For some people, living in the home is an important part of maintaining their health and managing their stress throughout the project. With these eight tips, you will know what to expect and be able to handle it with greater ease.
Many people buy a home with the intention of moving out in the future to accommodate the family they intend on having or just to upgrade into a nicer home. However, when you want something more than what you are getting from your current home, you do not have to actually buy another home. Investing in a home addition is a great alternative that many times is easier and more cost-effective, which also creates added equity and value for your home.
Owning a home is a dream for most people and when purchasing that home there are certain reasons that guide the choice. As time goes on and a home needs change, it sometimes becomes necessary to think about adding more space to the house or purchasing a larger home. After careful consideration, the additional space solution may be to select a reputable home addition contractor.
So, you're looking to have a major home remodeling project done; perhaps you're looking to renovate your outdated kitchen, or maybe you want to add square footage with a room addition, or possibly it's time for a bathroom remodel. Either way, you'll have an important decision to make when it comes to home remodeling in Phoenix: do you stay and live through it - or do you go?
Many homeowners choose to live elsewhere, or plan a family vacation away, during a major home renovation project, but this isn't always practical or possible. If you're planning on remaining in your home during the remodeling project, there are some tips you'll want to keep in mind.
A Custom Design/Build Wine Cellar
The Phoenix, AZ homeowners highlighted here love wine so much so that they often travel to Napa Valley to tour some of their favorite vineyards. Over the years, they’d acquired quite a wine collection, but they didn’t have an adequate space to store it. They’d always wanted a wine cellar and even had a spot in mind – under the staircase – but they were told by other remodeling firms that it couldn’t be done.
Is your kitchen feeling outdated and small? If so, then aside from tackling a major renovation or home addition, there probably isn't much you can do to increase the actual square footage of your kitchen. However, with working with a creative Scottsdale Kitchen Remodeling Contractor, you can update your kitchen while increasing functionality and perception of space--which is almost just as good! We've got some excellent tips for maximizing functionality in even the tiniest of kitchen spaces with a remodeling project.