5 Questions to Ask During Your Home Renovation Process for a Stress-Free Experience

by Amanda Chiu

Home renovation can be an exciting, albeit tiring, process. For new homeowners with no prior experience whatsoever, what you do during the renovation process is important. It can either make it a bed of roses, or a trip through the netherworld for you.

To give you an experience you want to remember for all the right reasons, we’ve compiled a checklist of the questions you must ask below. Read on for a positive renovation experience!

1. Are the Deliverables Satisfactory?
Renovation costs can be steep. It’s not as if you’re paying $3.50 for a bowl of wanton mee at the coffee shop downstairs. You want to get top quality for the hefty price you paid, not slipshod work. Seeing chipped tiles, uneven installations, or inconsistent paint works, for example, will ensure that your anger hits the roof and beyond. Therefore, at every step of the renovation process, and every milestone, check to see whether work is satisfactory, or better. Don’t be over-enthusiastic and pay your contractor the full amount up front, but break it down into different phases instead. If you find that the work done is terrible, get them to resolve it before proceeding to make payment for the next phase.

2. Are All Areas Covered?
With so much going on, it’s easy to get caught up and miss a few things here and there. Go through the renovation contract carefully to make sure that every aspect has been done. That includes the agreed material, dimensions and amount of work. There’s no point trying to argue with your contractor after you’ve agreed that everything is satisfactory – when it’s not, at the end of the contract. Check and check again until you’re absolutely sure that everything has been fulfilled.

3. Noted down Your Problems Yet?
The occasional problem may pop up sometimes during the renovation process. In order to avoid miscommunications or misunderstandings, be diligent and make a list of any outstanding problems. They can be issues with the renovation works, delays, or even minor things that need to be rectified. Whatever it is, keeping track can give both sides clearer understanding and better following up. Make sure that all problems are properly addressed and resolutions approved of before the end of the renovation contract. There’s no guarantee that they will entertain you if you call them up angrily 1 year later complaining about broken fittings. Who would?

4. Does Your Contractor Keep to the Schedule?
Not all contractors are good contractors. If your renovation contractor is always lagging behind time, it should give off warning signals. Track whether your renovation’s phases are met constantly to know whether your contractor keeps to it. If your contractor fails to do so most of the time, it’s likely due to inefficiency or because the business isn’t faring well. It’s important to find out early on during the renovation to avoid dragging the problem for a long time. You wouldn’t want to find out that your contractor isn’t contactable halfway through the process because the business went bankrupt, would you? Give it careful thought on whether you wish to continue engaging your contractor. If not, there are plenty of other contractors out there that can do a better job for you.

5. Are Changes, If Any, Validated?
Changes throughout the renovation process can happen. If they do, make sure they’re properly documented and validated. It doesn’t matter where you do – just ensure that you do it somewhere! Make an effort to update the renovation contract with the changes and pass your contractor the amended version. It’ll be a headache and the perfect formula for high blood pressure if your contractor insists that for a particular change, he has no clue it ever took place. Documenting down helps keep the process seamless, hassle-free and prevents possible disputes from happening. Therefore, see to it that it’s done!

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