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Homeowners and Remodelers – Have you ever had a sub-par experience with a home improvement project? If you’re like most people, you have. For homeowners and remodelers alike, the remodeling experience often falls short of expectations due to a lack of communication before the project begins. Without both parties establishing ground rules for the project, assumptions are made that can lead to confrontation and disappointment along the way. In staying true to our motto and business philosophy, A Better Approach to Remodeling, here are 6 Points that will help you have a more enjoyable and successful remodeling project: Communication – points of contact for both the homeowner and remodeler should be established in writing. Who on each side will communicate about pricing, design, change orders, and scheduling? What media of communication will be used – phone, text, email, meetings, online job board? What is the schedule for communicating? Paperwork – How are change orders handled? How many signatures are needed to approve changes? Make sure everything is in writing. Permits – Make sure that the process and responsibility of obtaining, paying for, scheduling inspections, and waiting around to meet inspectors are understood by all.Note for homeowners: permits are required for remodeling projects, so make sure your remodeler follows through with them. Note #2 for homeowners: make sure permits are filled out by the remodeler, in their company name. This will ensure their license is verified and that they are responsible for the project, not you. Money – There should be a defined schedule of payments that are tied to progress, not arbitrary dates on the calendar. In remodeling, it is typical to have an initial payment, one or more progress payments, and a final payment. The payment schedule should be mutually agreed upon prior to signing the project agreement. Also in writing should be details about acceptable methods of payment and paperwork involved. Time – The homeowner and remodeler should agree, in writing, to a progress schedule for the entire project before the work begins. There should be a method of communicating and updating this schedule. Make sure there are defined start and completion dates and clearly detail who is responsible for which types of delays and any relevant penalties. Home & Family – These are seemingly small details that often go overlooked and cause problems between the homeowner and home improvement contractor. Make sure you communicate about things such as: alarms, home access, parking, restrooms, debris, material deliveries, pets, cleaning, and safety. The best remodeling contractors have processes to ensure that all of these aspects of the remodeling project run smoothly. Conclusion As you can see, these are basic points, but they are too often overlooked. Paying attention to these points prior to beginning a remodeling project can ensure a more enjoyable and successful project for all. Having been integral parts of thousands of residential renovation projects, the staff at Design Build Planners has many opinions and suggestions that they gladly share with homeowners and remodelers that want to improve the overall remodeling experience. Let us know if you have any questions and we will answer where and when reasonably possible.