10 Home Renovation Tips: What to Ask Contractors

home-renovationMany home renovations do not proceed as planned. Too often, renovations go way over budget or fail to meet the schedule and complications pop up. Most of these situations would not have occurred with careful planning and early decision making. Below are a few essential things to consider before you begin your home renovation.

10 Things to Consider BEFORE Beginning Work

  • Prepare a budget
  • Be mindful of council regulations
  • Find a professional contractor
  • Know your start and completion times
  • Choose the right products
  • Draw up plans
  • Purchase products
  • Make purchase decisions
  • Determine availability of services on your property
  • Figure out your hot water unit requirements

Prepare a budget

Before you shop for your new bathroom or kitchen you must know your budget. Whether you are getting a loan or paying cash, you need to work out how much your project will cost. Some businesses offer finance solutions for approved customers.

Be mindful of council regulations

Uncover all the information you can before you hire a professional contractor. If your home is heritage listed, you will need to meet strict council regulations. Many renovations must be approved by the local council before work can begin. Contact your local council for more details.

Find a professional contractor

Speak with family and friends who have completed a home renovation or built a new home. Your will need to find a professional licensed contractor with whom you can communicate.  Hire your contractor well ahead of time, as they can be booked for months in advance. Keep in mind that your warranties are only valid when the products are installed by a licensed contractor. Make sure you hire professional, reliable tradespeople.

Know your start and completion times

Communicate with your contractor and come to an agreement about realistic start and completion dates for your home renovation project. If you have a specific end date, make sure your contractor agrees to it in writing. Keep in mind that unforeseen problems can delay your project regardless of diligent planning and good intentions.

Choose the right products

Browse products online browse for style (modern, traditional, shabby chic or comfortable) to narrow your product choices considering size restrictions of your areas. Match the product dimensions with the size of your kitchen or bathroom. You can use online kitchen and bathroom planners to arrange the products you have chosen.

Talk to your remodeling contractor about your selections. If the contractor does not want to install a particular product, ask why.  You need to be happy with the end result.

Draw up plans

Prepare plans for your bathroom or kitchen renovations and discuss the plans with your contractor. Enlighten the contractor on the products you want to include such as a specific plumbing fixture so that the plumbing can be properly installed before the tiles.  Make sure you provide product specifications to the contractor.

Purchase products

Some products are readily available whereas others will need to be custom made and can take up to 30 days to deliver. Find out how long delivery will take. Custom products are often non-refundable so confirm your product choices with your contractor before ordering. First, find out from your contractor which products they will need. Typically, the first products you will require are the bath, shower or spa.

Make purchase decisions

If you are a building owner, make sure you buy all of the main products for your bathroom, kitchen and laundry. This will ensure that you make all of the decisions and achieve the right end result. You may not include everything when placing an order, such as different handle types on a vanity unit, the pump position of your spa. It is important to make these decisions as they will affect the overall result of your project. Smaller fittings for plumbing can be purchased by your contractor.

Determine availability of services on your property

Find out whether you need gas or electric appliances (hot water unit, refrigerator, cooking appliances). Speak with your contractor about changing from electric to gas appliances regarding cost effectiveness and long term value. If you are building a new home, select the appliances before starting construction to accommodate appropriate plumbing.

Figure out your hot water unit requirements

When replacing an existing hot water unit, your choices may be limited, so discuss the situation with your contractor. Instantaneous hot water units are popular even though they utilize a bigger gas line than standard storage units. Such plumbing changes can be expensive, although more cost efficient over time.

Many of these tips seem obvious. Problems usually occur when you don’t cover all your bases. You will need to invest the time, effort and money necessary to ensure that you are happy with your home renovation.

hire a professional contractor


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One response to “10 Home Renovation Tips: What to Ask Contractors”

  1. Carol Finn says:

    Very useful tips. I am so pleased to have found your site. I have learned so much from you.

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