Fear and remodeling.
For far too many homeowners, these two words go hand in hand. With all the horror stories and tales of bad experiences floating around on the internet, it's hardly a surprise. In fact, a NARI.org consumer poll revealed that going over budget was the number one biggest fear that homeowners had when hiring a professional contractor.
It's completely natural to worry about the details, particularly with major kitchen remodels. Major home remodeling projects are expensive, and no one wants to spend far beyond the original budget.
The good news is that most fears about budget can be alleviated with open communication between you and your contractor. It can be difficult to build trust if you hold your cards a bit too closely to the chest, so it really does make everything run much more smoothly when you're forthcoming about budget and financial readiness.
Here's my top four list of remodeling fears --- and how you can overcome them.
Fear of hiring a crooked contractor: This is one of the easiest to put in perspective, but it's still one of the most common fear associated with a major remodeling project. Do your due diligence and ask the tough questions. Before anyone swings a hammer, you should feel confident and secure in your decision. Choose only licensed and registered contractors, even for small jobs. Ask for references, copies of insurance paperwork, and do a little internet sleuthing if anything seems amiss.
Money: Unforeseen costs are never welcome surprises, but they do happen. Structural damage uncovered during demolition needs to be addressed immediately for safety, mold should be dealt with promptly, and a termite infestation doesn't go away if you turn a blind eye. I typically recommend setting aside 20% of the total budget aside for incidentals. It's like a rainy day fund. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Disappointment: It can be very difficult to visualize what a finished project will look like, even if you've seen the renderings and plans from day one. A contractor attuned to your needs will provide weekly updates to help you conceptualize the progress of your project. At the very least, ask for a simple schedule that is reviewed on a weekly basis. You'll see progress and you can keep the budget in check.
Disruption: Major projects can get messy and your routine might be disrupted. It's not always feasible to move out during a remodel, but definitely schedule some time away from a dusty and chaotic construction site. It can sometimes feel like you're losing control over your home in the midst of it all, but simply being prepared to accomodate the disruption will make it much more manageable.