Is Your Home Remodeling Contractor a Home Remodeling Contractor?

by Owen Sechrist

    I know noone really wants to hear about it one more time in their day but here goes: the economy is down.  Construction is way down.  New home construction is abysmal.  Where did all those home builders and specialty contractors go you ask?  They're out trying to get remodeling work.      New construction and remodeling are two completely different animals.  Having a partly finished home all to yourself while you diligently and efficiently install flooring or trimwork is vastly different from figuring out how best to tear someone's finished house half apart and put it back together.  All the while trying to minimize impact on the home's residents including how to be clean and not fill their space with dust and debris is no small challenge.      Working around a home's residents and communicating with an owner on a daily basis makes remodeling quite different as well.  When talking to tradesmen who aren't accustomed to working with a client regularly and suddenly happen on a remodel, I frequently hear about what a [difficult customer] that person is.  On the other hand a seasoned remodeling professional understands that poeople are often making the second or third largest purchase of their life, their home is ripped apart, and no matter how kindly you reassure them there is a part of their brain that simply disbelieves it is possible to put it back together again.     Remodeling Contractors are also skilled at anticipating the real costs of what their clients are trying to accomplish.  Builders are likely to underestimate the costs associated with high levels of dust control, increased levels of daily setup and cleanup efforts as well as common problems hidden behind the walls of old houses.  Unfortunately, the new home builder's estimate will probably appear much more attractive, at least until they are holding out their hand halfway through the project, or the worksite is a complete mess because their subs are approaching the project the same way they build a new home.     Be sure to ask the contractor you are getting an estimate from what their primary business typically is and make sure they have plenty of remodeling experience.

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