Home renovation is both a grand and intimate affair. It’s a huge project that requires you to pour your imagination, aspirations, a lot of money, and even more trust. Yes, that’s right. Unless you intend to hack the walls and lay the tiles yourself, you do have to trust that the company you hire can turn your dream home into a reality.
If you’ve heard or seen one too many horror stories about renovation projects gone wrong, you may just be nervous about choosing your own home makeover expert. Here are some of the most important questions to ask before you sign the dotted line.
How experienced is the contractor?
Experience is not everything. Depending on the scale and complexity of your home renovation, you may choose a company that has more than a decade of experience under its belt, or a relative newcomer with just a few projects to show and is eager to prove itself.
Regardless of how established you want the contractor to be, always find out as much as you can and ask them for the latest work samples to get a more accurate judgment of their capability. A recent work sample is the key here, as it’s a better reflection of the current standard of the company. It doesn’t matter if the contractor has worked on a multi-million dollar project in Sentosa Cove five years ago, if they had recently run into manpower issues and lost their best staff.
Also, if you have a very specific idea that you think is uncommon, such as turning your entire home into a spaceship, it would be good to check if the contractor has done something similar in the past and can cope with unusual requests.
Keep to your budget
The most realistic thing you can do is to first determine how much budget you can set aside for renovation. Only when you have a strong sense of how much you are able and willing to spend, then can you make a financially sound choice instead of being led by the opinions and salesmanship of convincing contractors.
With a ballpark budget in mind, get a number of contractor quotations. If hiring a premium company is still within your budget, then there’s no harm in choosing that over the ones who offer bargains and promotional prices. However, if you find that nearly all of the contractors are giving you quotations that are out of your budget, then consider either postponing it till a time when you have more funds, or simply break down the project into parts. Whatever it may be, avoid getting into unnecessary debt for the sake of a home renovation!
Word of Mouth
Getting a positive first-hand account of a renovation experience is perhaps one of the most reassuring things you can hear about a potential contractor. Ask around your friends and family if they had recently renovated their homes, invite yourself over, and get them for details about the process of working with their contractors.
In addition, you can also check out forums like Renotalk to not only compare quotations with other users, but to also get first-hand reviews and even recommendations.
Professionalism and Patience
You can probably get a hint of how good the team will be even before work begins. Pay attention to how prompt your potential contractors are when it comes to answering your queries, and if they are patient and open-minded. A professional contractor should be able to provide you with detailed responses as well as good suggestions to your plans.
How professional and personable a contractor is can make a world of difference to the process of renovating your home. The last thing you want is to have to deal with the nightmare of contractors that are inefficient and nonchalant.
All the best in manifesting your dream home!