Whether it is new construction, additions, kitchen or bath remodels we all need the:

ABC’s Of Planning Home Improvements

Mosche Mor, General Contractor of Sunshine Construction, Inc. offers some valuable information and guidelines that will help ensure that your home projects go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  This article will help you by looking at the things you need to do and learn before, during and after your renovations.

Planning:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your goal in doing the home improvements?
  • How big or small do you want your project to be to receive optimal results?
  • Will the improvements match the existing style of the house, or will it look like it was added or changed?
  • What obstacles do you foresee, and how can these be prevented or overcome?
  • Prioritize which things are the most important to you.  If you needed to, what could you do to cut back?
  • Will you be able to recuperate all, or at least some, of your investment back if you wanted or needed to sell your home after the work has been done?

Start gathering ideas from your family members, friends, magazines and showrooms.  Once you decide on your improvements, start mapping it out in as much detail as you possible can.  If your project needs an architect, or if you do the drawings, make sure they are as detailed as possible.  This will help the contractor to prepare his estimate accurately.

You should now be ready to start meeting with contractors to get bids.

Bids:

  • A bid is an offer to do the work.  It should include a description of the proposed work according to what you described and drew out, along with an estimate/proposal amount.  It is advisable to get at least three written bids using identical plans and specifications so you can compare prices and contractors.
  • Make sure all bids are based on the same set of specifications.  This will eliminate any confusion about the products to be used and the work to be done, so builders can give accurate bids and buyers can compare them easily.
  • Check the allowances that are being given for major items in the bids (an allowance is a dollar amount for a particular item that is not yet decided or purchased.  The allowance is the portion that is included in the bid or contract that the contractor will pay for).
  • Don’t forget the old adage, “If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

Now that you have the estimates, you should start thinking about choosing a contractor.

Choosing a Contractor:

  • Check the contractor’s license.  Is the contractor holding a current, valid license with the Contractor’s State Licensing Board.  How is his standing?
  • Check the contractor’s references.  Skilled contractors are proud to take credit for their work, so they should be willing to take you to go see finished projects and construction in progress.
  • Make sure the contractor has Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance coverage.  (This will ultimately protect you, the homeowner).

Once you have decided on a contractor, you should have them prepare a contract.

Contract:

  • A signed contract is the authorization to go forward with your project.
  • Have it in writing!  The written contract protects both you and the contractor.  All agreements should be put in writing.
  • Do not sign anything until you go over your contract with the contractor.  This is to assure you completely understand what you are signing and agree to all of the terms.
  • Be sure the financial terms of the contract are clear.  The contract should include the agreed contract amount with a proper deposit for the job and a payment schedule for each benchmark of the project.
  • Allowances for cabinets, fixtures, tile, etc. should be clearly spelled out with amounts given.
  • The contract should clearly state your final agreement and accurately reflect everything involved in the work being done by your contractor.
  • Most projects require a building permit.  The contract needs to specify who is responsible in obtaining the permit and paying for it.  Permits ensure that a certified inspector inspects the construction project to make sure work is done safely and to code.
  • If you have added work after the signed contract, substituted materials or equipment, or changed the completion date, make sure that clearly worded and signed “change orders” reflect this.

When your project is complete, the punch list is done; you’ve signed off and make your final payment for the job, you’ll be grateful to have used the above ABC’s making your project a success.


Sunshine Construction, Inc. would like to share their portfolio and references with you and offer a competitive bid on your next upcoming project. The company is bonded, and carries both liability insurance and workman’s compensation. Call them for an appointment and a free estimate at their toll free number (800) 953-0053 or (925) 932-4072.