The Top 3 Tips for Remodeling Without a Contractor - It's generally a good idea to hire a licensed professional contractor to handle all of your major home improvements. This includes any project where someone in your household could get injured – or worse – if the handywork is not done properly. (For example, you never want to try to tackle an electrical wiring issue on your own because you could get electrocuted , and you can possibly burn down your home if you don't know what you're doing.) Contractors have connections that they've developed over their years of experience, so they know which sub-contractor is the best suited to handle the renovations you want done around your home. With that said, though, there are some home improvement repairs and renovations than you can do yourself. So, if you decide to go the do-it-yourself route and be your own contractor, here are our top tips for getting the job done right:
1. Stick to a schedule
A contractor would be there to make money. They would want to get started on the project as quickly as possible, complete it to your liking, and then move on to the next gig so they can make more money. So, if you're going to act as your own contractor, you have to think like one! Let's say you want to renovate your kitchen, and plan to have all improvements complete within a six-week time period. Make a schedule that lists how often you plan to work on the project, including the number of hours you'll work each day. If you decide that you're going to put in six hours of hard work every Saturday, don't get lazy and skip one week. And, if a sub-contractor failed to show up on a Saturday simply because he was too tired, your contractor would likely fire him and find a replacement. So, if you're going to be your own contractor, make sure that you work when the schedule says you're going to. By sticking to the schedule, you'll meet your deadline and have the project finished on time.
2. Choose your subs carefully
Inevitably, you're not going to be able to do every task by yourself, so like a contractor, you're going to need some assistance from a sub-contractor. Because contractors hire subs every day, they know who has a good reputation for doing quality work, and who they should avoid if they want a job done correctly. You don't have that luxury, but that doesn't mean you can't find the right guy for the job. Ask friends and neighbors who have renovated their home in the past if they can suggest anyone in particular. You can also ask the staff at your local home improvement store. By asking around, you'll likely hear the same name several times, and when you do, you'll know that’s who you should hire. If you choose the wrong sub-contractor, they could set you back several weeks if they make a mistake or if their work isn't up to code.
3. Be prepared to deal with roadblocks
Chances are you've developed some helpful contacts in your primary profession, and contractors are the same. Because of their years of experience, they know people who can help them out when time is of the essence. A perfect example of this is at your local permits office. People in that department know contractors personally, so chances are, he'll be able to get the necessary paperwork much quicker than you will acting as your own contractor. That doesn't mean that regulators at the permits office won't help you. We're just suggesting that you remain patient and cordial if the process takes awhile. After all, you're new to them, so it's unlikely they're going to pull any strings on your behalf like they might for a contractor who is in a bind. Roadblocks like these are going to pop up along the way, so don’t be surprised when they do – and be prepared to deal with them without getting too upset.
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