Construction and demolition is a serious business. This is not just about a financial investment, but a mental investment as well. It’s a period of time where a full crew is in and out of your home where there is noise and general discomfort – sometimes for weeks at a time. Construction and renovations are a blanket term for a wide range of jobs, from skeletal raising and wall destructions, through constructing basements and extra rooms, to building partitions of all kinds and working on any wood-related, carpentry-oriented jobs.
In order for the job to be done in the best possible way, you need to hire a contractor. One you can really talk to, and who provides you with a sense of industrial-silence and security. Honestly, there are some jobs where you will choose a private handyman before a renovations contractor. This is also an option, and it all depends on the nature of the job which is to take place.
Keeping it Professional
Professionals come in all shapes and sizes. You could have a handyman who gets a plastering and painting job done quickly, but he may have less knowledge when it comes to plumbing. Sometimes, if the goal of the job is a surgical one – a pinpoint kind of renovating – it is probably better to call a private handyman. It could be cheaper and quicker than calling someone who has a whole crew coming and is responsible for all of them. Nobody wants to play “broken telephone” with a busy renovations contractor. When there is a professional present, who is not only charged with supervising the crew but also working alongside them, then you have a much more open line of communication.
The fundamental difference between a handyman and a contractor is, that a contractor will be written down in the “Contractor’s Registrar” and be classified as a specific type of contractor. That being said, the mere fact that a contractor is recognized by the state says nothing about the quality of his work. True, some may say that a contractor has an advantage over a handyman because of this but this isn’t always true professionally. It might be true as far as client accessibility is concerned because some people would rather hire a professional who is recognized by an official body of authority over one who is not.
With contractors, there is always the question of: can we trust a friend’s recommendation? The answer is highly circumstantial. While we do have faith and trust in our friends and family and we are certain that they are looking out for our best interests, every apartment and every building is different. Furthermore, there are different relationships between people and just because one client felt a certain contractor is very friendly and approachable, it doesn’t mean this will be the case for you. You need to look at things from a professional point of view, and not be afraid to go with your gut.
— Total Home Decor (@lisatotalhome) December 24, 2017
Accounting for Variables
Precisely because there are times when a renovation can last weeks, a good connection – on some level – between the crew and the client is strictly necessary. No one wants any more heartache than the given situation warrants. It gets noisy, dirty, and sometimes there are clashes, conflicts, and other kinds of drama with neighbors and tenants. Even if the work is going as planned and even if your contractor is great, there will always be some kind of discomfort that comes along with the process.
It is exactly because of this unavoidable situation that you need to have a work contract and one which is as clear as can be. When there are discrepancies and misunderstandings between the parties, it could make things significantly more unpleasant. Deadlines, payments, unscheduled surprises, touch-ups, and post-completion fix-its. The clearer things are in the beginning, the fewer chances there are of problems down the line.
As for payment, there is one thing you must be aware of: it will change. Mostly, it will grow. There are so many things which can happen, and problems which pop up and make things more difficult. Electricity lines, gas, water, sewer, tardiness, upgrades, changes-of-heart; these need to be factored into your budget. You must understand that this is a dynamic process and if there are additional expenses you need to be prepared for them. I would suggest taking 18-20% of your cost estimate and adding it to that original figure.
Getting the Best Results
Contractors offer their services so that when the job is done, it will be more pleasant for the homeowner. If the results don’t correspond with what was agreed upon earlier, you still have somewhere to go. Usually, there is a renovation plan which outlines broadly and specifically the order in which the process will occur. You need to make sure that what exists in your head will be transferred properly to the one in charge of the crew so that he can ultimately make your vision a reality.
Also, if there is a way to make sure there is nobody hanging around unnecessarily – all the better. Obviously, it is better for everyone involved if there were nobody there at the time and if the crew would be able to work in an empty home. Sometimes, that is the case, and sometimes it is not. It depends heavily on the type of renovations and their estimated length of time.
Your day-to-day life will change, and your routines may be thrown out of whack, but we must remember that we are fixing and renovating so that we have a better place to live in. A place to call home. The peace of mind which a quality renovation brings with it is worth a lot. Even if it is not the case of fixing something, but of upgrading and changing an existing dwelling, people hand over hard-earned money and invest it in apartments and homes and contractors need to be sensitive to this fact. While for them it might just be another job, for us it is home.
Contractors need to know who to hire, how to work, and how to conduct themselves so that things are done in the best possible way, and with as little problems, complaints, issues, dramas, and malfunctions as possible. The client must also be aware of problems and be reasonably accessible and reachable so that things run smoothly in the direction of a successful completion of a job well done.