The decision to undertake a larger home improvement project is never an easy one. Your life will be disrupted, you will have to raid your bank account and you can never be sure you’ll get the quality workmanship you hope for.
There is so much more that can go wrong. If hiring builders, how do you know you’ve chosen an honest builder who will complete the job with due diligence, and not just do a half-baked job?
If you’re new at this, your predicament can be even worse. For a noob, decision-making can be a nerve-wracking time. Ultimately you know you’ll have to live with the choices you make and all that responsibility will lie with you.
However, once you have your mind set on proceeding with the work, there are a few things you should always keep in mind to make the process run as smoothly as possible, and to help you remain relatively stress free.
1. Cover Up
Make sure you cover everything in your home. No amount of tarps will be enough. Dust will get everywhere, and unless you want to spend weeks cleaning up after the work is complete, make sure you cover everything.
Cover all your electrical goods; wrap all your precious pictures in trash bags and cover every piece of furniture. You wouldn’t want to plop down on your couch and see a puff of dust, would you?
2. Validate All Extra Work
Your builders may or may not be very clear about the mandate of the work. It’s your job to act like a project manager and establish absolute clarity. Make it plain as day what the end result should be.
If the mandate changes, double-check and triple-check what the effect will be on cost; will it cost more? Or will it save you some dough? Get the head honcho of the building project to confirm verbally if costs will change. Once confirmed verbally, make a note and confirm again a little later. One confirmation won’t be enough. People forget things, and this can bite you in the ass further down the line.
3. Don’t Be Afraid
Your home is your pride and joy. To the builder, it will be just another job. Another task you have is transmitting the care you feel for your home to the builder so that they care, too.
If you feel that something isn’t up to par, you MUST express concern and not be afraid to get that portion of work redone. An example could be kitchen flooring. If the tiles are coming loose after only one day, bring it up with your builder! You’re the customer. Chances are, he or she will redo the work.
These are just some lessons that will help you navigate the labyrinth of home renovations. And remember, it will never ever be completely smooth. Problems will arise; be ready for them. Last but not least, always allow an additional small budget to cover the things you won’t see coming.
Amit Sodha is a personal development blogger who believes the answer is never more storage, but always less stuff.