Home renovations are often a mix of excitement and stress. Even though you’re excited about upcoming improvements, the decisions that pile up can be overwhelming —especially if you are uncertain as to what exactly is involved in your project.
In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that mitigating stress is a big component of any successful home renovation project. The final results are obviously important, as is the need to stay on schedule and within the established budget. But if these things can’t be accomplished with peace of mind, the renovation wasn’t really as successful as it could have been.
So what’s the main way to achieve peace of mind during a home renovation project in which a contractor is involved? A written guarantee. That’s something you know you can count on, even if the project develops problems later on.
A written guarantee should include both a general description of the project as well as a more detailed explanation. In the general description, you want to be sure to cover all your ground. An example of a general description may read, “Add new cabinets in the kitchen,” while a detailed description would include additional sections, such as describing the specific materials that will be needed for the project. Again, this section should be as specific as possible to prevent any miscommunications between the two parties. It should also include provisions for lost or damaged materials, faulty workmanship, and even scheduling.
In addition to guarantees, your contract should establish the maximum budget allowance for the project. Often times, the contractor and homeowner miscommunicate about how much money materials will cost, or when the workers themselves will be paid. But when the contract includes a fixed payment schedule, a detailed cost estimation for materials, and information about where these materials will be purchased, you’re much less likely to run into problems down the line.
No two contracts or guarantees are exactly alike, and you’ll want to carefully go over the individual clauses and legal language in order to know exactly what’s going on — but that’s exactly the point. It’s important to know what kind of guarantees your contractor is offering, and what exactly will be done in case of faulty workmanship or other problems. As a homeowner investing thousands, or even tens of thousand of dollars into home renovations, the last thing you want are problems that drive your costs up even more — not to mention your stress levels.
That’s why it’s so important to know your contract backwards and forwards — and more specifically, to know exactly what kind of guarantees you’re dealing with. The great thing is that if you find a reputable contractor with strong written guarantees, it means they are highly confident in the results they produce. After all, the point of a rock solid guarantee is that the company will actually never have to back it up — because the workmanship will be impeccable from top to bottom. As a homeowner making a very important investment, that’s the best you can hope for.