Remodeling Survival Guide
I would like to tell you your remodeling project will be easy, that everything will go perfectly and that it will be over before you know it. But I’m not that good. Nobody is. Remodeling is an intrusive, messy experience. It takes time. Progress is uneven, and it always gets worse before it gets better, sometimes twice. The good news is that the experience is temporary, while the benefits of the new space endure year after year.
If I have learned one thing since I started Tomco in 1979, it’s that mutual trust and integrity are every bit as important as technical skills and a proven process to achieve a good remodeling experience and outcome. It’s a little like boarding a flight. You are expected to do your part by showing up on time, stowing your luggage as instructed and fastening your seatbelt. But you trust the pilot to take off and land safely and get you out of unexpected turbulence along the way. Because, let’s face it, most passengers don’t know how to fly the plane and they aren’t issued parachutes when they board.
Remodeling clients can do their part to help contractors reach the right destination safely and on time. But we know it’s mostly on our crew to get you there.
How you can help
Reputable remodeling contractors have the experience, tools, staff and trade partners to complete whole-house makeovers, major additions, custom kitchens and more. Here’s how you can help:
Budget – Few homeowners understand what remodeling really costs, but most know how much they are willing to spend. Some figure that by sharing a number up front they will end up paying too much. So they get multiple bids and keep everyone in the dark. Here’s a better scenario. Say you are willing to spend X and lay out your goals and priorities. If your expectations are way out of whack, reputable contractors will tell you right away. If they are reasonable, we will try to come in at least 10 percent under budget to allow for contingencies.
One mind – Many remodeling clients are couples. There can be a tendency for one person to hang back and defer to the other during design – at least until the rough price estimate is delivered. Couples should make it a priority to find agreement on budget, surfaces, and products early so contractors can deliver solid bids based on known factors rather than arbitrary allowances.
Show and tell – Pictures often are more effective than words when explaining what we like. Set up a free account on www.houzz.com, browse rooms or phrases and create an online Houzz ideabook by tagging images you like. And be sure to include a note with each photo about what caught your eye. Then you can show the contractors what you have in mind. While you are on Houzz, check out the Tomco Company page.
Share expectations – If you have never been through a major remodeling project you may not know what to expect in terms of dust, noise, loss of privacy and schedule. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before the project starts and to share concerns. At Tomco, we understand we are guests in your home. We hate surprises as much as you do. Which brings me back to trust and integrity.
Leave a Comment