I have always said that, as a home owner, you need to complete one project a year or you will get behind on maintenance and remodeling. These projects can be anything from a few windows being replaced, new appliances to a full-gut and remodel of a basement. It is always difficult to decide what to do. But after you make that decision, you will often find that you need to research and answer dozens more questions.
I switched careers a couple of years ago after working in restaurants my whole life. I now work for a bathroom remodeling franchise that is locally owned and operated. I love that I get to help people everyday with their decisions on material choices and scope of work. Speaking from that experience, I think you will find that every company is unique and does things slightly differently. You will want to ask your questions up front and have them answered in order to feel comfortable. When making a final decision, that is usually what it comes down to is this: what are you comfortable with?
You want to be comfortable with the people you are working with, the company you are hiring, the material, color and finish choices made, and a big one is the budget. You need to know where to get the cheapest specialty equipment for specific jobs – for example, where to find air compressor reviews to rent a cheap one locally. Costs vary greatly, even for the same type of project, depending on factors such as the age of your house and how much you are planning on doing yourself vs. hiring a contractor.
Be wary of anyone willing to give you a bid without looking at the project and talking about what your dreams are.
And remember: “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – John Ruskin
In order to get an accurate bid the contractor needs to gather all the info they need for scope of work, your material choices and what exactly needs to be done. They should give you their suggestions and tell you what they might do if it was their house. I always put myself in my clients’ shoes, while keeping in mind their wishes and needs.
One way to get started is coming up this weekend with the 2013 Home, Garden and Remodeling Show. The event is put on by the Anchorage Home Builders Association (AHBA). It is at the Sullivan Arena at the following times:
- Friday, March 8: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday, March 9: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Sunday, March 10: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
There is a general admission fee, but parking is free. The cost is $10 and discounted to $8 for those over 62, active and veteran military. Kids 12 and under are admitted at no cost.
Check the March 8th edition of the Anchorage Daily News for a list of vendors and seminars.
Coming up, I will doing some features on different remodeling projects around your house to complete, information on the materials and process, and of course my personal recommendations.
A question for you, reader:
What projects do you have the need or desire to complete this year?
Give me your suggestions and I will do my best to give you all the information available in an up coming post. Also don’t be shy to stop by and say hello if you see me at any of the booths at the 2013 Home, Garden and Remodeling Show.