What To Expect When You’re Expecting…The Remodeling Edition, part 3

Two Phases, One Project…Start To Finish

At this point of your project you should have completed Phase I and selected a contractor. Now comes Phase II…what to expect during the working phase of the project. Both Phase I & Phase II are processes that when put together have proven to create a successful remodeling project from start to finish.

Phase II

Commencement – This is where you plan the start date with your contractor. The commencement date may or may not be right away as it is determined by multiple factors. Depending on the particular project, your contractor will have to account for town approval, permits, and possibly variances. He/she will also need to take into account the availability of materials and shipping time, if necessary. Although commencement may not start for some time, it is important to clear out the area that will be remodeled (i.e.: a cluttered basement, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanity & closets) so that when it’s time to begin, the team can come in and start immediately.

Daily Progress Report – Communication is key! You and your contractor should be frequently communicating about the project. He/she should report back to you daily as to how it’s going, progress that’s been made, problems they’ve encountered, and expectations. It is important to note that communication should only be between you and the general contractor. Communication with anyone else can cause confusion, mistakes, and possibly even a delay in work. If there are any problems or concerns, they should be addressed with the contractor only.

Milestones – Contractors use these as a way for you to see actual progress and what you are paying for. Milestones are usually smaller and more frequent achievements, such as a new tile or cabinet installation. They also help break down the total cost of the project since you make a payment at each milestone. They should be defined in the Scope of Work so that there are no surprises when it’s time to pay.

Change Orders (CO)/Additional Work Orders (AWO) – These are written agreements between you and your contractor approving a change or addition. COs for your project should be kept at a minimum unless you make changes along the way. Review all changes, including the price, with your contractor as they occur; do not wait until the end of the project. Reviewing and paying as you go will eliminate surprises at the end of the project. In order to keep COs to a minimum, make certain that everything you want done is clearly defined in the original Scope of Work.

Job Completion Date – This is a tentative completion date since it is dependent on so many other factors, such as weather, materials, sub contractors, inspections, etc.

Project Review (Lessons Learned) – Your contractor may want to schedule a time to sit down with you once the project is complete and discuss how it went. He/she may want to know how they did overall, what they can improve on, if expectations were met, what they did well, etc. This is a time to be honest with them so they know what to change for their next job.

CELEBRATE! Your remodel is complete. You can now enjoy your new space.

Remembering that communication is extremely important, and that your contractor is on your side trying to make your dream and vision come to life will help keep things in perspective. Even if there is a hiccup, your contractor will work hard to fix the problem and make it right. Trust in your research and judgment that you have made the right choices to complete your project successfully.


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