Getting your home renovations right

Home renovations are a great way to take your existing property and remodel it to produce a home that is exactly suitable for your needs. Done properly, home renovations can also add value to your property and ensure a higher sale price when you eventually decide it is time to move on.

Searching for the right contractor

If you are entrusting your home renovations to someone, then you must be confident that they are capable of producing the result that you desire. It is always a good idea to talk to any friends or neighbours who have had renovations carried out to see how satisfied they were with their contractor. How well did the contractor communicate? Was the job completed on time and within the expected budget? Would they use the same contractor in the future? If you don't know anyone who has had renovations on a property similar to yours, then you will need to research some contractors and see how satisfied their clients were. You should talk to prospective contractors about their past projects and take up the references you are offered. A reputable contractor will have no trouble offering you examples of completed work and happy clients.

Insist on a qualified professional

Before committing to a contractor completing your renovations, you should check that their business paperwork is in order. See if they hold licenses or qualifications from the relevant professional bodies. Talk to them about insurance, and make sure that they are covered for all the work they will be undertaking on your property. If they don't have the right cover, you could find yourself with a large bill for damage they caused while employed on your renovations. Once you are certain their insurance is in order, take a look at the qualifications they hold. What areas to they cover? Have they made an effort to update their qualifications in recent years?

Agree a plan of action

Once you have chosen a contractor for your renovations, you must agree with them on exactly what work will be done and when it will be done. As a minimum, this plan should cover the following;

  • The price of the total job

  • An agreed payment schedule

  • Full details of the exact scope of the job

  • The sequence of each task in the project and the date the task should start

Choosing the right contractor and planning the project in detail from the start will help to ensure the renovations run smoothly once the contractor begins work.