Tips for taking the fear out of remodeling your home

Anxiety, fear and stress are adjectives often associated with home remodeling projects. Every so often we hear a remodeling “horror-story” from a friend, family-member or even the media. Often times this makes a homeowner think twice about an extensive remodeling project, hence, never getting the kitchen, family-room addition, etc. of their dreams.

So how does a homeowner overcome these fears and find the courage to make their home what they want it to be?

It really comes down to the mitigation of risk, and tempering their expectations to better match the realities of home remodeling. How is this accomplished?

First and foremost is to do your due-diligence in terms of hiring the right company or contractor to do the work for you. Choose companies with a long-standing reputation and history in your area at doing quality work and standing behind it. Talk to that contractor’s past customers and look at some of their work. This will help create a level of comfort with the builder. There is no magic solution for getting estimates. Small remodelers often operate by the seat of their pants which is why they are often less expensive. Unless your remodeler has a place of business, liability and workers comp insurance and a detailed process, you are running the risk of a worker getting injured which leaves you open to liability, no recourse should you have a problem, or worse, a job that is incomplete or never started to begin with.

Does the contractor have a “brick and mortar” establishment? This is important, because it shows the company has a real presence and has made the investment necessary to carry on its operations. Contractors who work out of their homes or the “back of a truck” have been known to disappear in the dark of the night. Choosing a remodeler is like choosing an insurance policy. The level of risk is often associated with the price of the policy. The length of time a company is in Business often speaks to their success. Doing the necessary homework will give the homeowner the confidence necessary to eliminate some of the fears and anxieties of remodeling. Checking with the Better Business Bureau is always a good place to start!

Homeowners also need to temper their expectations, and understand that things do not always go to exact plan when doing an extensive project. However, a good contractor will endeavor to remedy the situation and give homeowners choices when it comes to solutions and budget. If you are a detailed type of person, you would want to be sure that you are dealing with a company that will spell out all the details. If you have a low threshold for pain, take the steps to ensure that your project will be clean and protected.

Lastly, always keep your eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is the new home your family will enjoy for years to come. Staying focused on the end result will always help you, as the homeowner, get through the remodeling process.