September 23, 2020
The new home you’re considering purchasing in Montclair NJ has the perfect area in back to create a fantastic outdoor kitchen! The commute is almost half what you’ve been used to, the downtown area has all the shopping and amenities you could hope for. There’s even enough land that will come with the purchase to allow a few minor changes you want, like home office space.
With your local marketing specialist negotiating for your best deal chances are great that you’ll close on this purchase. No reason to wait on planning for the small addition that will upgrade the house from great to perfect.
PLAN THE PROJECT:
Finding exactly the right contractor takes a little more effort than picking a name from the Google search list.
Recommendations are an excellent starting point, but not the only criteria. Although personal referrals add peace of mind, you want to allow yourself options for comparisons. The perfect guy for the job on Uncle Sal’s project won’t necessarily be the perfect guy for your job.
The perfect place to start is with your realtor, who should have a network of established and reputable vendors. Narrow your choices down to 3 or 4 contractors with good reputations, that indicate they have the time available to work within your timetable.
DON’T SKIP THIS PART! Ask for, then call and talk to several past clients of each contractor. Ask questions, including if they ran into any problems and how the contractor handled those issues. Problems happen, and how they are handled can tell you a lot!
Understand your own budgeting needs before soliciting bids. Once you see 3-4 estimates, it should provide insight into what a fair price range for your project would be. Don’t just choose by the numbers; look carefully at the details of what the bids entail.
- Do they include all labor and materials?
- Do they include the cost of any sub-contractors needed for the project such as HVAC, any plumbing, all electrical work, or are those costs separate?
- Does they include all the finish details, like paint, installation or connection to existing fixtures and even outlet and switch covers?
- Does the written estimate include hauling off all debris and clean up of the grounds?
- Are all the estimates in writing? (They definitely need to be!)
Almost all remodel projects run into some unforeseen additional work to be done, so your budget should plan for it. However, the estimate should include language to deal with cost overruns for the included scope of the work.
Guarantee’s and warranty periods for labor and parts should also be in writing, up front, before any work is started.
It’s normal for a deposit to be required by a contractor before work begins. Some ask for another payment about halfway through the project, with the remainder due at completion to your satisfaction.
All changes should be in writing and be specific about what is changing and the cost to accomplish that change. It may even include a discount from the original estimate. These are just a few of the cautions you should follow when seeking a contractor to do minor or major remodeling to your home.
Haven’t found that “almost perfect” new home yet? See what the New Jersey market has to offer right here: https://njrealestatehomesearch.com