8 Important Things You Learn When You Restore An Old Home
Here are the important lessons we learned during the renovating process:
1. Never Pay Upfront
This is cardinal rule number one. If you pay in full on day one, there’s no reason for them to show up day two, three, four… You get where I’m going. Instead, set specific goals and dates to be met. When they are reached, pay a predetermined rate (for example, 20 percent of overall cost). It gives the company set goals, and gives the owner power and peace of mind.
2. Money Don’t Mean a Thing
Everyone follows a budget. When deciding this number, make sure you have at least a quarter extra for backup. Everything costs more than estimated. One unexpected project leads to another, and another, and another.
3. Have Faith But Remain Skeptical
Workers will tell you what they think you want to hear, but then will do what they want to do when they want to do it. There were several days when we had to babysit to ensure progress was made.
4. Timelines Schlimelines
Whatever completion guesstimate you receive, add two months. We were given a one month completion date for our renovations, so I assumed four (I’m generous). Seven-and-a-half months later, we finally moved.
5. Set a Completion Date In Your Contract
Always, always, always set a completion date in your contract. If the goal date isn’t met, assure that there will be specific ramifications, like decreased wage. This gives the homeowner a realistic timeframe, and the workers specific goals to reach, assuring that progress remains steady.
6. Nice Guys Finish Last
Kill them with kindness… or just kill them. Okay, don’t really, because it’s illegal and wrong and you’d be living in jail, not your newly renovated home. I’m an overly nice person, but when our completion date had come and gone by a few months, I put my foot down. Builders tend to work harder for the client that badgers them the most. So, nag away!
7. Expect the Unexpected
Surprises can be fun, but they can also be costly, time-consuming and grueling. Once construction starts, it’s more than likely that something unexpected will arise. For this, keep an open mind and an extra stash of cash in your bank account.
8. Food Works Wonders
Always keep workers content. Set out a bowl of candy or snacks, have drinks readily available, and provide lunch once in a while. Happy workers are hard workers. If you keep them happy, your job will more than likely become their favorite. And favorite clients receive better quality work in a timely manner.
source: Country Living