When it comes to choosing the right team to partner with for your kitchen or bathroom renovation, there are some common mistakes many people make that unfortunately inevitably leads to wasted time and money as well as heartache and stress. Today we’re sharing 5 things to look for when choosing a renovation company to be sure you’re happy not only with the end result but with the journey to get there.
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
When you choose a renovation specialist, first and foremost you need to research what companies are available to you and what they offer. Examine portfolios of former work and look at testimonials and reviews from previous clients. You are looking for specialists when it comes to home renovations not generalists. You can get a feel of this by examining the volume and quality of their previous work as well as looking at their website, social media pages and Google presence. Be cautious of home improvement contractors who lack these basic things! Call them up and have a chat - do you get a good vibe? Are they helpful? Do they sound knowledgeable? We’ve helped homeowners get their renovation projects back on track after dealing with dodgy businesses but unfortunately it often requires spending many hours and thousands of dollars to fix any damage done and get the room back to a state where renovations can begin. In one instance, we had a client who’s previous contractor had done A LOT of damage to walls and floors that needed to be repaired before we could begin the actual renovation. It’s a very steep price to pay that can be avoided with thorough research from the outset.
2. HAVE A CONTRACT IN PLACE
Be clear about what you want from the beginning of your renovation project and make sure they understand so you’re all on the same page from day one. Don’t start work without a written contract in place. Without this you can spend a lot of money with not much to show for it and nothing written down to support you. By having a written contract in place this will protect you by keeping your contractor accountable to the terms and conditions of the agreement and if there should be any scope changes you can have peace of mind that you will not get hit with a large bill. Some renovation changes that appear simple may require a lot of work from the back end, so you need to check with your renovation specialist if there are even slight adjustments. Transparency is vital.
3. USE A PROFESSIONAL WHO UTILISES LICENCED TRADES
The boom in the home renovation market has attracted all sorts to the profession - including those that are not fully licensed to carry out work. While in the ACT it’s not a requirement for a renovation company to be licenced, the trades they employ MUST be licenced and insured. Make sure the team or person completing the renovation is fully aware of the legal licencing requirements - this knowledge and their ability to provide proof is a strong indicator that the contractor knows what they are doing. Be cautious of someone who offers you the cheapest quote or is able to work right away - good professional work is worth the money and will rarely be available to start straight away.
4. OPEN COMMUNICATION
You may undertake due diligence when selecting a contractor for your new home renovation project and still miss one of the most important aspects - communication! Clear two way communication and building a relationship is essential to making sure you get what you want from your professional renovation team. Usually your first couple of meetings can help give you some clues as to the communication skills of your contractor. Do they explain what to expect in terms of communication? Do they make it clear that you’ll be in the loop with progress throughout the project? Do they provide a general timeframe of when things will be happening? Is the pricing transparently provided or is it vague and not forthcoming? For a satisfying experience it’s important to ensure everyone is aware of the cost of the project and agree on variations to the project including, timelines and any unforeseen contingencies that may occur during the course of construction.
5. QUIT WHILE YOU’RE AHEAD (or not too far behind)
If things are going badly, don’t wait for catastrophe before getting help - this goes both for a DIY project and when using a renovation contractor. There have been times at Nu-Look where we’ve helped clients out of terrible situations and present them with houses that fit their original design dream, however it takes courage by the homeowners to admit something isn’t working and put a stop to it before it gets too far out of hand. You can keep adding pain to your project by pouring more money into a contractor that is steering your project further off course or a DIY job that has gone horribly wrong or you can accept the position you’re in and look to not only salvage the project but achieve your initial design vision.
We want your renovation experience to be a smooth journey so we hope these tips will help you choose a company that’s right for you or better yet, get in touch with us at Nu-Look for a free consultation and quote so you can be assured of a quality outcome.