Remodel Design - Things to consider
Overall General Planning
- Researching and gathering ideas for your home - this will help make the process easier when it comes time to meet with your contractor. HGTV, Pinterest, Magazines, and other websites are great resources for ideas. Make a file of ideas and wish list. When I meet with clients and they are prepared with ideas, it make the design process that much easier and helps clarify their wants
- Research Contractors - Finding a contractor with integrity and you can trust is key. You are already stressed with the idea of remodeling your home, you don't need the added stress if you can't trust your contractor. It's ok to ask for references.
- Value - You never want to remodel your home if it decreases the value of your property, even if it is what you want.
Meeting with your Contractor
- Construction agreement and Contract - Most contractors will have a contract and construction agreement outlining their company's policies. It should have things such as finances for draw schedules, liability, arbitration, warranty, etc.
- Budget - Your contractor should give you a budget for the project. Generally a deposit to get the project started, ordering materials, permits, etc and a draw schedule to pay subs, material and labor for that phase of the project. NEVER give all your money upfront! A draw schedule helps protect you and make sure your project flows smoothly.
- Liability - Unfortunately, General Contractors are not required to have general liability insurance in the state of Texas. In most cases the sub-contractors carry the liability. Many contractors have insurance which helps protect you the customer and the contractor. When you meet with your contractor ask if he has insurance.
Permits and Surveys & Home Owner Associations
- If you live in the city limits you will more than likely need a permit before you begin your project. You should be able to find permit info on the city website under the "planning and development" section.
- If you live in an Home Owners Association you will more than likely have to get approval prior to beginning your project. This can take up to a month (sometimes longer). Its always good to start with the HOA before proceeding with anything else.
- Surveys are also a good thing to schedule if you plan to do any improvements which effect utilities.
- In most cases your contractor will schedule the surveys and apply for the permits.