Are you planning an exterior renovation? It’s a big task, but there are things you can do now to make the process easier. Here are the best ways to plan, prep, and hire for an exterior renovation.
Make a Construction Plan
First, you need to consider the overall project. What are you hoping to accomplish with this exterior renovation? Make a list of all the changes you want, and then break those items down into greater detail so you have a thorough construction plan to show your contractor. For example, if you’re replacing your roof, are you also replacing your roof deck? What about your gutters? Do you need new gutter covers, too? Sometimes it makes sense to tackle several smaller items when you undergo a larger renovation.
Create a Budget
Next, you need to consider your finances. You may not be able to tackle every project on your list at once. If money is tight, consider cutting some of the least important items from your list. You can also negotiate the price with your contractor. Remember to include at least 10 percent of your overall budget for overages and change orders, too.
Consider Your Schedule
Contractors aren’t always available, so it’s best to have several start dates in mind. Consider things like:
- Estimated time to complete the project
- Work trips
- School schedules
- Family gatherings
- Surgeries and health concerns
- Community events that might affect the timeline
Move Your Valuables
Construction can get messy, and it’s sometimes disruptive. Make sure you secure your valuables. At a minimum, move them from the work area. If possible, wrap them in protective packaging and store them away until the project is complete.
Create Space for the Workers
Even when they’re working outside, contractors and their employees need their own space. You may need to provide a bathroom they can use throughout the project. Some companies prefer to use a portable toilet, but they’ll need room to set it up outside. They may also need space to park their vehicles and take rest breaks.
Secure the Permits
Most contractors include permits in the overall job cost, but sometimes homeowners prefer to secure the permits themselves. Check with your contractor to make sure someone is handling this important task, or your project may shut down before it even starts.
Turn Your Security System Off
Security systems are often triggered by doors or windows opening and closing. They may also detect activity in the yard or home. During a construction project, you’ll experience all of these things throughout the day, so it’s best to turn your security system off. You can reactivate the system before you go to bed each night.
Make Room for Storage
You’ll need plenty of room in your driveway for the renovation. The workers may need space for a dumpster and materials. You may need to move your cars into the garage and make room in your driveway. You can also rearrange your lawn furnishings or clean out your garage so there’s plenty of room for storage.
Keep Your Children and Pets Safe
If you have small children or pets, it’s important to keep them safe throughout the project. Consider boarding your pets during the day. You might also crate your pets for short periods of time. Children are naturally curious, so teach them about the dangers of construction and make childcare plans as needed. Otherwise, they may wander into the yard and get hurt.
Ask Your Friends
First, ask your friends for recommendations. They will likely give an unbiased, thoughtful opinion, which is exactly what you need. Some of the best contractors don’t focus on advertising, and word-of-mouth may be the only way to find them.
Find a Reliable Resource
If your friends don’t have any recommendations, find another reliable resource. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is a reputable organization with a database of certified professionals and accredited companies you can work with.
Ask Your Neighbors
Your neighbors may also have valuable insight. Did you notice a new roof on the house down the street? Why not knock on the door and ask who they used? The contractor is already familiar with your neighborhood, and you can see the quality for yourself.
Prepare Some Questions
- Do you have a license and certification?
- Do you have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance?
- Do you hire subcontractors? What are their credentials?
- Are you good at communication? What’s your preferred method of contact?
- Do you include a warranty with your work?
- How do you handle conflict resolution?
- What protective measures do they take for your home and belongings?
- What’s your average work schedule?
Exterior remodeling projects are time-consuming and require a lot of planning, but they’re worth the effort and investment. Use these tips to properly plan, prepare, and hire for your construction project, and you’ll be a step ahead of the game.
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