By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
Dust, delays, cost over-runs. Remodeling is trying under the best of circumstances.
Now, with record remodeling projects underway and continued supply snafus, it’s particularly vexing.
Homeowners can benefit if they employ strategies for this unique remodeling environment, shares Kurt Clason, owner of NH-based Clason Remodeling and current chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He suggests those embarking on a remodeling project do the following to avoid unwanted roadblocks:
Make the most of the queue:
“Many remodelers are so busy they can’t start a project for at least 18 months,” Clason says. But owners can have an initial discussion with a contractor on his project and what materials will be needed. Owners can then begin shopping for tile, fixtures, flooring, and the like, selecting a couple of options for each. In some instances, owners can order products to arrive as when the project starts.
“We (contractors) don’t know when delays will come. We can order (items) and be told it will come in within two months. But then we’re told, no six months.”
Consider both wants and needs.
Maybe a new deck is an essential, but a homeowner would really love to have it screened-in if he had the funds. Or you need a kitchen overhaul but adding an adjacent washer and dryer would be nice. A contractor can sometimes make accommodations during the initial project, making it easier and cheaper to achieve wants later.
Competency counts, but so does compatibility.
Given the increased likelihood that owners will be having conversations about unexpected shipment delays or new, higher prices on materials, it’s imperative to have trust and confidence with contractors.
Of course, positive reviews from clients and admiring the workmanship of previous projects are priorities.
But when selecting a remodeler, “consider it like dating,” says Clason. You want someone you believe is honest, and who you can easily communicate with, since in today’s environment, some conversations are likely to center on a distressing development.