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10 Tip For Remodeling Your Home

By Expert Author: Antonia Berkeley

10 Tips for Remodeling Your Home

The birds are chirruping delightedly outside your smudged window and the saccharine scent of a hundred stunning wildflowers coming into bloom wafts through the cool air. Spring has finally unrolled her green earthen canvas right outside your faded door, and you are literally dying to get that much-needed home remodeling project underway before the termites discover your chipped parquet upstairs. But before you can even clasp your hands in glee at the prospect of having a gorgeous makeover for your precious humble abode, here are ten crucial things to watch out for the next time you set out to remodel and refurbish your home:

1. Know What You're In For.

The most important aspect of any home renovation is knowing what you're signing up for. This means evaluating how extensive and cumbersome the renovation is going to be, and preparing well ahead of time before the contractors set foot past your threshold. Ask yourself: Am I going to remodel my entire house, or just sections of it? Am I going to do a structural makeover? Would I need to hire an architect? Does the remodeling plans fall in line with my present budget? Do I have a secondary residence to hole up in if I need to temporarily evacuate the house?

These are not only the most commonly overlooked factors that most people tend to accidentally forget, but it is always important to mete out the necessary preparations before you're all set on tearing down the house and getting that new upholstery your wife has been nagging you about for the past five years. So don't forget to compile a short list of all the potential things that might impact or result from your home remodeling, and be sure to always have a backup plan in case things go awry.

2. Do Your Background Research.

Flipping through the yellow pages sounds easy enough. But scouring through Los Angeles for a reputable home remodeling company can be a testy feat not meant for the faint-hearted. The best way to overcome this is to make a short list of all possible home remodeling contractors throughout the city, and cross out the ones that do not have good ratings or feature amateur work samples.

3. Find a Good Building Contractor.

Once you've done your background research, then comes the next difficult step of weeding out the sub-par contractors from the excellent ones. Look for recommendations from architects, designers or even your neighbors that have recently conducted a massive renovation. Jot down phone numbers and details of contractors, and make an effort to get into contact with each of them. Obtain a quotation from each contractor, and select ones that fall in line with your budget plan. Don't be too stringent or overly picky - it is always wiser to select a pricier contractor with years of experience tucked under his belt than a newbie that charges cheaper rates.

4. Narrow Down Your Contractor List.

By now you would have already attained a small score of names and contact details provided from Internet websites to the yellow pages and even the Chamber of Commerce. Your next step would be to trim this list further until only three to five candidates remain. You may do this by getting in touch with building trade organizations or companies, or even contacting the Better Business Bureau to review the ratings of your present contractors on your list. Take note of any positive or negative feedback provided, but always take the comments with a pinch of salt. Avoid contractors that feature a tsunami of negative comments, and keep an eye on the ones that exude an overall positive feedback.

5. Pay A Visit to Your Contractor's Cubby Hole.

Once you've cropped your list to at least three contractors, then proceed to visit each one at their designated office or showroom. Don't be overly fascinated or easily swayed by lavish showrooms with an upstart or chic look. Take note that even a shady office might hold a better contractor than a glass-walled one, so it is always important not to judge a book by its cover. Take your time exploring the samples of workmanship, and if possible take a peek at any lingering portfolios.

6. Watch Out for Licensure.

This is one of the most important aspects when looking out for home remodeling contractors in Los Angeles - make sure they have a working, non-expired license or permit. This includes a present license issued by your current municipality or state and some liability and worker's compensation insurance. Always make sure that your intended contractor can provide good, solid references to follow up on. If they fail any of these three criteria listed above, immediately cross them off the list and eliminate them from further consideration.

7. Make Sure They Have Time for You.

Contractors hired under larger companies often have their very own showroom or independent office, whilst small-time contractors tend to work from home. Take note that larger remodeling companies tend to be swamped by a miscellany of projects and might not have the time to take yours under their consideration. In some circumstances, they might, but your project will be significantly delayed or stretched out for months instead of weeks, which can be very cumbersome and tiresome for both you and your family. Thus, make sure that your intended contractor has enough time to deliver some personalized service to you, and refurbish your home to your liking.

8. Interview your Contractor.

Home remodeling Los Angeles can be tricky if there is a communication breakdown between your contractor and yourself. The only way to ensure that a contractor will communicate efficiently with you regarding their proposed plans or work for your home is by taking them on a tour of your house and assessing their behaviour yourself. Think of it as an interview of sorts - chalk off contractors that clam up or keep conflicting with your thoughts and opinions on your proposed remodeling plans.

9. Visit Previous Project Sites.

If possible, visit previous project sites of your contractor, but be sure to attain permission from the homeowner first. This will give you a firsthand view of your contractor's work, and allow you to judge the quality of workmanship for yourself. Take note of any praise or neutral reports from the homeowner or a completed project, and take it as a sign as to whether you wish to remodel your home with this particular contractor or not. Try to visit several completed project sites if possible - this will not only allow you to evaluate the various workmanship capabilities of your contractor, but also allow you to attain various insights from different homeowners.

10. Sign a Contract.

Once you have pegged down a suitable contractor, don't forget to sign a binding contract. Not only will this protect you legally from any possible altercations of misuse in the future, but it will also define the duties and responsibilities of your contractor in black and white.

Take note of these ten points the next time you seek out a building contractor to remodel your home in Los Angeles!

Doobek Addition Contractors and Remodeling is a Los Angeles based construction company with over 15 years of combined industry experience specializing in home additions and remodeling.

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