by Marie King
A remodeling contract should contain your contact information. It should also delineate what you intend to do. When discussing the contract with a client, you should also make clear what you don’t intend to do. Your contract should clearly state what the beginning and end dates of the project. Once you have committed to a start and end dates, you need to honor that commitment.A number of construction companies don’t keep their promise of start and end dates. Those companies create a bad reputation for their businesses and give a black eye to the construction industry.
The majority of the remodeling decisions will be made by your clients. Those decisions can be overturned if the clients changes their mind. Every time your clients want changes, those changes cost time and money. Before you start the work, make sure your clients are on board with the choices that they’ve made. If there are choices that they’re unhappy with, you need to help the clients choose different alternatives. Reviewing with the clients the choices that they’ve made before the work begins can help save a lot of headaches once the remodeling has started.
Don’t start a remodeling job unless you have a design plan. You don’t want to be half way through a project when your clients announce that they don’t like how the remodel is turning out. As a contractor, you can create the design with the client’s input. However, your client may choose an architect or interior decorator to develop the design.
Having a design plan, allows you and the client to have a visual of the outcome. You need to review that design plan with your client to make sure that the proposed layout meets your client’s lifestyle needs. The design will also show how space is allocated. The client may want a more spacious master bath and to get that space will reduce the size of the master closet. A design plan will also reflect if the interior will be in sync with the exterior. If the clients have chosen an ultra-modern kitchen for their Victorian, that choice may need to be changed to keep the house’s interior and exterior in sync.
It’s standard procedure to find out what amount of money is in the budget, so you can make sure your in budget for labor, materials and fixtures. What you have less control of than the budget is overruns. Before you have to make cutbacks, ask your clients if they have a contingency fund, which is extra money that the clients have put away for the remodeling job. The amount of money in a contingency fund is usually equal to 5% of the estimated project cost.
Ideally,it would be nice if the family moved out when their house was being remodeled. However, that doesn’t happen. Instead they stay and become your biggest distractions: your clients, their kids and their pets. Before you begin the work, let your clients know that the remodeling area is a construction site and can be hazardous. To emphasize your point, you may want to cordon off the area being remodeled.