Any time you undertake a major project that involves multiple different players, you run the risk of potential challenges related to logistics and personnel. Home remodeling is no exception.
Your goal as the homeowner is to be aware of potential issues ahead of time so you can implement measures to help effectively mitigate and respond to them. Better yet, you can partner with a remodeling company in Philadelphia that will actively work with you to confront challenges head-on and prevent them from negatively impacting your home improvement project.
Home remodeling—whether you’re renovating a historic Philadelphia row house or upgrading a newer residence with a bathroom or built-in—is a major investment of time and money. What you don’t want is to see that investment get squandered because of easily preventable problems. As you prepare for your upcoming home improvement project, here are some common issues to watch out for:
Lack of communication, or even miscommunication, is often the root cause of numerous problems when remodeling a home. From the start, you should be clear and transparent with your remodeling contractor about your maximum budget, your vision for the project, and your expectations, and vice versa. If you have questions or need clarification throughout the process, don’t hesitate to ask. Often, the issue of communication is exacerbated when there isn’t a clear point person. Additionally, if you have two separate firms designing and constructing the remodel, there is a greater risk of people getting their wires crossed, in which case what you have on paper may not be what ends up being built. Working with a Philadelphia design-build team and having a centralized system for communication and direction from start to finish can solve this issue.
Both the homeowner and the remodeling contractor can procrastinate, delaying the project and increasing costs. As the client, do your part to plan properly for the remodel ahead of time. Take into consideration your work schedule, holidays, weather conditions, family conditions, and financial factors that could interrupt or slow down the process. Make yourself as available as possible throughout both design and construction to answer questions and provide input. As for your contractor, there are no guarantees, but make sure you address this issue during your interviews with prospective firms and the references they provide. Confirm your Philadelphia contractor’s anticipated schedule for ordering materials, getting subcontractors scheduled, and meeting specific deadlines so there are few to no unexpected setbacks.
Each remodeling firm has its own distinct process and business practices, and you should find one that not only excels at projects such as yours but also offers a process that works for you. Once you’ve selected the remodeling team for your project, take time to get to know what you can expect from each professional and their role in completing your home improvement. How do they approach the design phase? What level of involvement is expected or encouraged of you? Who is handling what part of the project? As unpreventable changes or unexpected issues arise, how will they be communicated to you? What is the project payment schedule? Knowing the answers to these, and other questions ahead of time gives you a sense of confidence about how your project will progress and what you can do to prevent undesirable surprises along the way.
Another common challenge when renovating a historic home or expanding a newer home is keeping the project within the fixed budget. Without implementing the proper measures, it’s easy to fall victim to scope creep—or your project spiraling into something you didn’t intend, along with the cost. Plan your budget well in advance and make sure you’ve prioritized your list of what you hope to accomplish, so you can make cuts and compromises if needed.
When you’re remodeling your home in Philadelphia, the type and quality of features, fixtures, and finishes you choose can significantly impact your overall project price. A good design team will walk you through these decisions and give you options for achieving your vision while staying within your budget. Once you’ve made your selections, you should receive a detailed budget worksheet with realistic cost allowances. Avoid making changes to the scope of work once construction is underway. Add-ons and change orders have a tendency to significantly inflate your budget and delay completion.
When it comes to getting your project done on time, there are a few steps you can take as the homeowner, such as having a clear vision from the start so you’re not constantly changing your mind and also being available as needed to answer questions, make selections, and provide access to the job site. However, this problem is mostly due to the quality of remodeling company you hire. As you’re interviewing prospective firms, ask if they have other ongoing projects that would interfere with the completion of your remodel and what measures they take to stay on schedule. Find out how soon they’ll have trade partners lined up and what they do when unexpected circumstances arise. With that in mind, there are a few challenges that no one can prevent—such as inclement weather or materials being back-ordered. You should be prepared for minor delays and add a couple extra days to the completion date your contractor gives you to allow for contingencies.
Finally, there are a couple structural issues that can be a major headache when completing a residential remodel in Philadelphia. A few to be prepared for include water damage, roofing problems, foundation cracks, or layers of shoddy renovation work completed in the past. These are especially common when it comes to doing modern renovations to old homes or old house additions, but they can pop up anywhere. You can’t necessarily prevent such issues from being uncovered once you start your remodel, but the sooner you are aware the better. Make sure your builder checks out the job site before construction starts, so they can include necessary repairs or additional work into the design plan.
Home remodeling is an exciting opportunity to transform your well-loved residence into an even more beautiful and functional space to provide the comfort and accommodation you need in the next phase of your life. While there are bound to be a couple hiccups or unexpected challenges, you can avoid many significant problems by partnering with the right design-build remodeler in Philadelphia. At Bellweather Design-Build, we are invested in providing each client a positive renovation experience, as well as their desired outcome. Our refined system not only promotes productive builder/client collaboration, but also encourages other design and remodeling specialists to contribute solutions during the planning process for an efficient and cost-effective experience.
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