Chicago Home Remodeling Guide

Step #4 Begin Work

You've done your homework, hired a great contractor, and have the plans hashed out. The home remodeling process has been a lot of prep work up to now. So what's next? It's time to get started!

  • Notify the Neighbors - It's a nice courtesy to inform your immediate neighbors of your impending renovations. Give them an idea of what to expect in the coming days, weeks, months. They'll appreciate the heads up and the fact that you recognize their right to peace and quiet.
  • Living Amid Renovation - Depending on how extensive your remodeling project is, your life may be turned upside down for a period of time. Consider the disruptions and inconveniences you may experience and anticipate solutions, such as getting a hotplate to cook on while the kitchen is being redone; or making arrangements to stay somewhere else if necessary. Smaller home improvement jobs shouldn't be much bother, however, you may need to find someplace to store extra items and furniture while that section of the home is being renovated.
  • Inspect As You Go - Various subcontractors will be brought in throughout the remodeling process to do different jobs. Have an independent inspector look over their handiwork to confirm its correct completion. Write it into your contract that subcontractor fees will not be paid until your inspector signs off. Withholding pay in this manner is a good negotiating chip in case there are problems or something needs to be redone. Plus, it provides an incentive to do it right the first time.
  • Expect Setbacks - While it is possible for your home renovation to go off without a hitch, chances are there will be holdups somewhere along the line. And remember, the bigger the project the more opportunity for issues. Build a contingency fund into your budget (between 5-15% of the total cost is recommended). On top of a little backup cash, allow for extra time as well. That way minor delays or additional costs won't become a major headache.
  • Be Flexible - Your contractor will do everything in their power to make sure your Chicago home remodeling job is a smooth, trouble-free process. Unfortunately, unforeseen events are always a possibility. If a problem occurs, don't panic! Communicate with your contractor to find out exactly what's going on and how it affects the overall project. Discuss adjustments that can help compensate for the snag, such as buying less expensive fixtures or finishes in order to put more funds into another area of the project.

« Step #3 - Hire Professionals | Step #5 - Remodeling Checklist »

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