We’ve all heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” While the jury is still out as to whether or not that’s always true, nobody wants to look ignorant about matters of importance. That may be why homeowners sometimes don’t ask questions about issues related to their remodel. They feel like they should understand something that pertains to their single largest investment.
In reality, the remodeling process—while pretty straightforward—can get complicated now and then. There are a lot of pieces and parts that have to come together in order to achieve success. A remodeler deals with these issues on a daily basis; you probably don’t. That’s why we tell clients it’s really not possible to ask too many questions about their home remodeling project. It’s much better to ask questions up front to make sure you get what you really want.
What kind of questions should you be asking before you get too far into the nuts and bolts of remodeling? Here are a few suggestions.
- Ask About the Contract: Contracts don’t make great bedtime reading. They can get detailed and tend to include phrasing you’d never use on a daily basis. They are, however, important documents. You’ll want to make sure you understand what is and is not covered in your contract. If something is unclear, ask your remodeler to clarify it. This really helps avoid surprises at the end of the project.
- Ask About the Process: It’s not always obvious to homeowners what will happen when—and how long individual steps will take. Make sure to have this discussion with your remodeling representative before the construction starts. It helps you relax—even during those times when it may appear that nothing is happening. Here’s a helpful overview of how the design-build process works. This can be useful, because it’s a bit different than how some remodelers work.
- Ask About the Design: Designers and architects can look at floor plans and blueprints and visualize the end result. Many homeowners, however, have difficulty translating lines and squiggles into 3-D. If something doesn’t make sense, ask about it. It’s much faster, easier and cheaper to change a plan than it is to correct something that’s already built but didn’t turn out how you’d envisioned it.
- Ask About the Implications of Changes: You can always make changes to your plans, but those changes have consequences you may not be aware of. Some requested changes may delay your completion date, and others could dramatically increase your costs. Moving a wall six inches may not seem like much—but it could prove to be a very expensive change, depending on what else has to happen. Here’s a look at how some changes can have a huge impact on your budget.
Is it possible to ask your Naples remodeler too many questions? We don't think so! And we’d much rather have you ask us lots of questions up front instead of asking yourself, “Why didn’t I ask about this?” at the end of the project.