We are in the process of wrapping up a basement renovation. This was a great job in that the clients made the decision to trust us and we carefully respected that trust with clear communication throughout the project. These clients were exceptional and considering that they were off site 90% of the time and only available by email I am amazed at the positive relations from beginning to end.
It is imperative that people are reasonable going in to renovations. A big factor here is experience and also choosing a contractor that you can trust. However long it takes to find the right personality and fit – wait until you feel good about the team that you hire and the way they manage their business. Make sure you and your partner agree. This is huge for when things get stressful which they will a little. You need to be on board with your Contractor – both of you.
Expect some changes and expect some additions. The industry recommends having 10% of the overall job set a side for variables. These variables are often as a result of upgrades by the homeowner but also they can be as a result of unknowns that can only be revealed when the walls come down.
This project saw some significant changes and additional fees in regards to Electrical and Plumbing. Again much is unknown until the walls come down and this is where we usually see increases on a job. In this case we had a good idea that the Electrical would come in higher and the Homeowner was given two quotes – one for scenario A and one for scenario B. The Plumbing was a surprise as everything we did lead to additional work. An older home could have been renovated several times and in the case of this home it had been renovated several times by unskilled people. What was revealed was scary and the work needed to be done.
We never did ask but I am quite certain these clients have renovated before. They were calm, reasonable and clearly had not overextended themselves. We did not take their trust lightly and will always be available to work for them again.
Again communication is imperative. If you have good communication with your Contractor they will always be ready to help you in a pinch. Work the relationship and build it up – you will be surprised the benefits of staying committed. Moving from builder to builder can lead to well I guess anything is possible but you get my point.
To those Contractors new and “been their, done that” remember that your clients are people no different than you. They are being the best they can and a little patience and viewing of both sides to the story can bring the greatest of understanding and resolve.