YOUR builder or contractor will be crucial to the success of your project. I would go so far as to say that your relationship with them will be the secret of your renovating success.
In order to achieve renovating success, find a good, reliable and honest building contractor and nurture your business relationship with them.
If you have chosen to employ an architect, he or she may assist in the process of finding a building contractor, if not, do your homework - do background checks on prospective contractors and ask for references.
If you don't cultivate a good working relationship with your contractor your project may fail to meet your expectations, or at the very least will be unnecessarily stressful, regardless of whether you're flipping for profit or renovating to create your dream home.
Your contractor is a businessman or woman, and they are fulfilling a contractural agreement.
Treat both with respect and expect the same in return.
Inspecting some of the previous projects a contractor has completed will give you an idea of whether you think they meet your standards and whether they are on the 'same page' as you, in regard to the vision you have for your renovation.
"As with every other contractor you employ: get quotes, generally three. It's a lot of work, but it will be worth it."
You will be spending a lot of time, perhaps many months, in a ‘relationship’ with your contractor and his employees, so make sure from the outset that you believe you can achieve a positive, cooperative working relationship with him or her.
It is very messy and can be extremely unpleasant, not to mention costly, if you decide part ways before the project is finished, because your relationship with your contractor has soured.
Becoming an owner-builder is something to consider for more experienced renovators, but not advised for those less experienced who are planning to undertake a large scale project.
I speak from experience!
I would consider it for future projects, but not without giving it a great deal of thought and investigation, and only after completing the appropriate owner-builder’s course relevant to my area.
Becoming an owner-builder takes confidence, knowledge and the ability to project manage and deal with many people.
It may or may not be appropriate, given the scale and time frame of a specific project.
Even as a renovating ‘newbie’ or beginner, it is worth considering undertaking an owner-builder’s course, depending on how involved you intend to be during your project.
It will be essential if you intend to project manage the project yourself, and will at the very least give you a better understanding of the building process - should you dare to attempt a future project!
"I would consider my failure to undertake an owner-builder’s course one of the most significant renovating mistakes I have made in the past."
Without being able to quantify it in dollar terms, my lack of knowledge and understanding of the building process could possibly have cost us thousands of dollars.
Owner-builder’s courses also provide essential information about issues such as occupational health and safety requirements for building sites, even if the site is your own home.
Despite the appeal of significant cost savings as an owner-builder - undertaking this role is best left to experienced renovators.
Do not over-estimate your project management skills!
One final tip if you are considering going it alone is to consider completing an interior design qualification. There are all sorts of interior design course available - short and long course, online courses, classroom based - the choice is endless.
I completed a Diploma of Interior Design from home, which I considered to be particularly helpful when choosing products and creating room design schemes.
The more knowledge and research you arm yourself with, the better.
As the saying goes:
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail".
Renovating with love,