Keep Things Grounded: Planning Your Home Renovation amid COVID-19
Without a doubt, the home has become the center of activity for everyone in the family. It certainly is taking a huge role in the day-to-day activities of people around you. To boot, you could be working from home. On the other end of the spectrum, your kids could be doing school from home. All this is happening while mom is cooking or someone else is doing the laundry and cleaning, putting the precious abode back to its best form.
Small wonder then that home improvement is trending. It’s but logical. As we use the space more, we want to improve it as much as possible. You don’t want to be confined in a limited home office, right? True enough, along with all that desire, home improvement loans are on the rise like never before.
Well, if you want to factor great improvements to your personal living space, you’ll have to find a general contractor. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail in that first step and end up having to live with substandard additions to their homes for the rest of their lives. Here are ways you can make it right and fast.
Do Your Due Diligence
Perhaps this is the most important advisory anyone can get, not to mention the biggest money saver. Know that there are unscrupulous entities around. Usually, when there’s a rising demand for home improvement, like after a hurricane, home improvement scams come to the fore, arising out of the woodwork on cue.
Again, pseudo-contractors use social engineering as a ploy to get homeowners to agree to a project. Many, for instance, promise fast results at a way lower price. Some can talk you into signing over timely payment coming from your insurance company.
So the best way for you to go about it is not to hurry a decision. And instead, do your due diligence. You can check things out with the National Association of Home Builders local chapter, for instance.
Ask for References and Investigate
You can’t really put a good person down. Their good works are bound to stand up for them in due time. And the same holds true for home improvement contractors. Their work should speak their truth.
So a good way to proceed is to ask a contractor for work references. Do this even when you have a friend or two who has recommended them. It’s a routine you should not miss.
Then go a step further, check on those works. Call these clients and ask around. A good contractor’s work speaks volumes about their ability. If you don’t want to check in person, you can always use video to see the actual work.
Caveat emptor: there’s a trap here. Many times, homeowners will go for unlicensed contractors thinking they have them on the cheap. But that’s the farthest from the truth. You are actually putting yourself in a risky situation when you do.
Before you regret it, know that a licensed contractor is added protection for both parties. It ensures that things will run smoothly even if something goes wrong during the construction process.
Getting an unlicensed contractor means you’re getting someone who can get away with substandard work. Without being regulated, these contractors do not need a bond as protection for their work. Worse, they don’t take time to purchase liability and protect their workers should bad things happen while at work. In short, an unlicensed contractor puts you at great risk.
So if you want quality work at its most efficient, getting a licensed contractor is a must. Depending on your state, check your license contracting board. You can search your local state’s government websites to do that.
Moreover, each state has a contractor’s recovery fund (or equivalent). You can be compensated if a licensed contractor ends up doing a poor job or is unable to finish the work for some reason.
The Devil Is in the Details
Yes, small mistakes that are overlooked can cause you major problems when it comes to home renovation. So take time to flesh out the details of your project to the contractor. A simple instruction as painting the walls may not suffice. You will have to inform them of what you want to achieve with the painting job for the best results.
The rule of the game is the more specifics you can factor, the better the results. So don’t miss out on key details to your project. Take note that everything takes time in construction. So being candid about it right from the onset saves people many back-and-forths, saving time and effort in the process.
Take into consideration payments. Usually, it’s 10% of the total project cost.
Factor in COVID-19
Don’t get lost in all this and forget about the virus. You should factor it from Day 1. Make sure you discuss things over with the contractor on planning to tackle the virus issue. Specifically, ask them what precautions they plan to take to put everyone’s safety a priority are. Will their workers use personal protective equipment (PPE)?
And what are their expectations while working on your precious abode? You should clarify expectations before things start rolling. Will they need your family to be in one room? How about if someone working for them gets infected by COVID-19?
Clarifying expectations build trust. It also ensures your home improvement needs are catered to as professionally as you want it in no time at all.