4 Ways to Get the Best Work from Your Contractor

Interior updates

Why Work with a Contractor?

Working with a Contractor can eliminate the stress, overwhelm and product uncertainty that comes with kitchen remodels, bathroom updates and home makeovers. It can also keep your project on time and on budget.

We’ve serviced homeowners in Westfield, New Jersey and surrounding communities with their residential remodeling needs for 30+ years. In that time, we’ve been around enough remodeling jobs to know that if a homeowner wants great results, they’ll need to be a part of the remodeling process early on.

What does that mean? Stay involved, maintain communication with your Contractor and stay focused on the result – a beautifully designed, well-constructed residential remodeling project.

Here are 4 smart ways to stay involved in your home remodeling project:

Contractors and Allowances 

An allowance is a line item in the Contractor’s bid for something that’s yet to be determined. For example, if you haven’t chosen the plumbing hardware for your new master bathroom remodel, the contractor will put an allowance number in the budget as a placeholder.

But with such a wide range of price points for these products, the estimate may be far lower than what you wind up spending.

Try to eliminate allowances by sorting out all your material and product selections before the Contractor gives you an itemized bid for the job. Otherwise, do enough shopping to give the Contractor an accurate ballpark price for the materials you’re considering.

Contractor Calculating Remodeling Allowances

Practice Good Communication with Your Contractor

Ask the Contractor how project details and developments will be communicated with you (email, phone, sms, etc.) and share your preference.

Additionally, set expectations for progress meetings. This is an opportunity for you to hear progress reports and find out what work is scheduled over the coming days. It also allows you to ask your questions and voice any concerns you have.

Contractor Communication

Come Up with a System

You’re going to want a place where you can save ideas and notes for your residential remodel. This is where Houzz can be your ally. You can create ideabooks, including your favorite home design photos, stories, products, discussions, notes and other details of your home project.

Using Houzz Ideabooks

Track Changes 

Your Contractor may encounter unforeseen structural issues, or you may decide to include additional work as the project evolves.

Specify in your remodeling contract that you want change orders in writing for anything that’s going to add to the bottom line of the job. That means the Contractor must give you a description of the change and a fixed price for what it’ll cost.

You both must sign the change order before the work is done.

To better prepare for the residential remodeling process ahead, download our free guide: