This question is a great place to start when doing home renovations. There are a few things that you should figure out before you call a renovation company.

Every project uses the same process to prepare and accomplish the remodeling contract. The amount of detail, the complexity of the project and the cost may differ each time, but the steps that the homeowner needs to take are always the same.

Here are some of the things you need to do before you begin:

1.      Define what you want to do.

2.      Create a list of needs – all the essential projects

3.      Create a lists of wants – your wish list

4.      Determine your budget – the amount you are able and willing to spend.

You want to be as detailed as possible – if you don’t really know what you need or want, how can the reno team provide an exceptional solution.

The hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself. It’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Everyone has heard the horror stories of contractors who tore apart the kitchen and never returned or created a project three times more than the contractor’s original estimate.

Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation and a disaster. But even experienced renovators find it a challenge at times to find the right contractor for the job.

If you are doing a large project, you will need a general contractor. They will usually hire subcontractors for specialty work such as plumbing and electrical work. Homeowners with renovation experience sometimes work as their own general contractors, hiring specific tradespeople for each job.

While this can save you money, it can also be time-consuming as it means multiple contractor searches instead of just one as you’ll have to find a specialist for each smaller job.

Whichever way you go, there are steps you can take to find the right contractor while keeping your budget and stress under control!

Once you’ve done the first four steps outlined above, you’ll want to do the following:

1.      Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for references.

2.      Interview at least three contractors.

3.      Expect a contractor to be too busy to start right away – the best are the busy ones!

4.      Ask what work will be done by the contractor’s employees and what work will be done by the subcontractors.

5.      Check licenses, complaints and litigation history.

6.      Check references.

7.      Read online reviews – they aren’t everything, but it will offer a bit of insight on the contractor’s work.

8.      Sign a detailed contract.

9.      Get the proper permits.

10.  Don’t pay more than ten percent of the job total before the job starts.

11.  Don’t sign a contract for your entire renovation budget.

12.  Negotiate ground rules – what hours they can work at your home, what kind of notice they’ll get and what bathroom the workers can use.

13.  Talk to the contractor frequently.

14.  Verify insurance coverage.

15.   Don’t make the final payment until the job is 100% complete.