Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-12-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


Hey guys,
I'm new to this forum, my husband and I are buying a new house. We love the house but would like combine two bedrooms upstairs to make a master suite. The problem we are running into is that we would like to start renovations immediately after closing, but won't be moving in until 1.5 months later from out of state due to job issues. Our parents may be able to drop in once in a while, but otherwise, it would just be the contractors working on the house before we move in.

Do contractors do renovations without the owners being physically present? If so, how do they usually get the owners involved? It just seems very complicated. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, thank you!

OoflowerbudoO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,495
Rewards Points: 4,106
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


It's done all the time, sounds like a simple job if it's just removing a wall to make the room bigger.
Has anyone check to make sure it's not a supporting wall?
Make sure everthing is in writing. Do nothing to the house until you actually own the house. Until it closes it's there's.
Make sure there's a real contract not just a quote.

If there working by the hour, hold off until your there, to easy to cheat on time.

joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


Yes. They do.

Now that having been said - you need to find the right company or contractor.

Example: I learned a long time ago, how important communication is with my Clients.

Home Owners want to know what is going on, with regular updates, check-ins, questions, and so on.

We will work on people's houses when they are not present, but we communicate every day with email updates....and often several times a day via phone. I never make an esthetic (sp) decision on my own. I present all of them to the Home Owner. I have a digital camera everywhere I go. That allows me to send pics when I have questions, and also to send pic updates. Yes, cell phones have cameras too, but I prefer a dedicated digital camera for site photos.

You don't want the first contractor that is willing to work without you in the area. You want one with good references - especially in relation to your particular project requirements.... and the points I listed above.

IMHO - You likely are better off with one who is, or who also operates as a legitimate GC. That is because they know how to function and manage a job, or project, without needing someone looking over their shoulder. They are self-managed. That is not the case with many "contractors". So you need to be selective.

You want a contractor that has an understanding of what you want. You will know that, when you speak to him or her, and ask the right questions. That person will be a good communicator, and put you at ease. Trust your "people instincts".

Be weary of those that want a large amount of money upfront, and/or do not abide by state regulations for Home Improvement Contractors and the related guidelines (again - do your research & check references).
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AtlanticWBConst. For This Useful Post:
mae-ling (04-14-2012), user1007 (04-14-2012)
Old 04-12-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 27,495
Rewards Points: 4,106
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


Good points. The vast majority of my customers live out of town so I would do the same thing for them.
It made a huge differance dealing with most of them.
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


How many contractors do people on average talk to before they pick one? I have one who did a quote but I'm not sure how experienced he is with dealing withownersfrom out of state.
OoflowerbudoO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


The general rule is to meet with at least 3.

Most Home Owners will ask their friends or family (that live in an area) for recommendations.

Others may contact a local lumber supply house and ask for recommendations for reputable and responsible contractors that may have been doing business, regularly, with them for a long time - many years (that alone = says something).


Generally, it would also be good to write up a list of project points & goals that you need addressed (what you need them to do). Here is an example:

1. Project completion date: XX/XX/2012.
2. Contractor acquires permit and arranges all inspections (if applicable).
3. Contractor responsible for debris removal + legal disposal.
4. Turning off of lighting when not working (your electricity bill).
5. Turning down heat & hot water tank (your electricity bill).
6. May need to hire a cleaner for the final step.
7. Daily email updates (possibly an evening or early morning before work email).
8. A few photos with the updates (you want to make sure that things are understood and being done as instructed - because mistakes can happen).
9. etc.
10. etc.

Remember - Communication is the lifeline of ALL projects, especially one that is being performed "remotely" (you not being there, but offering long-distance instruction & answers). So if you check for references, ask: "Are they a good communicator?", "Do they function on a schedule, and do they complete things on time?"
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to AtlanticWBConst. For This Useful Post:
oh'mike (04-13-2012)
Old 04-13-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 22,075
Rewards Points: 2,792
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


Atlantic has given you some good advice there---Check out the contractor you prefer---
Good contractors try to price a job so that there are few billing suprises at the end of the job--
This will often mean that the 'cheapest' contractor may be the one with the higher original quote---

Study the proposals with someone knowledgeable ---does the proposal include everything to complete the job correctly.or will there be lots of extra charges as the job progresses?
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to oh'mike For This Useful Post:
Canucker (04-14-2012)
Old 04-14-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Not Being there for Renovations


In this day and age, we should all have at least a casual relationship with an attorney anyhow so find one in the State you are moving to that can look over contracts for you. If you are in an attorney closing state, you are going to need one for that purpose anyhow.

If your renovations are complex you may wish to bring in an architect, building designer or structural engineer to help with drawings, permits, sign-offs, inspections and project oversight.

Recommendations are extremely important. Most all of my clients have been word of mouth and secured based on how others share accounts of our working relationship. Of course I have had some clients more "difficult" than others but I think by outlining what we expect from each other in terms of communications in particular we make it work.

Find a contractor that is accustomed to doing the kind of work you require. I worked on antique homes exclusively and learned their quirks and nuances. There is nothing magical about it but a lot of contractors tried old house restorations only to find themselves in over their heads when the surprises popped up. I suspect I would be terrible and grumpy working on newer construction.

Make sure you specify anything of concern or possible disagreement later in the original contract. Think of it as pre-nuptial executed when everybody gets along. It always amazes me the number of agreements I see with no schedules! Hint, hint.

Direct answer to your question is of course you can work with contractors remotely. Some might suggest a dream client is one that is not constantly on the jobsite and is as remote as possible. And as mentioned in this day in age with phones having still and video cameras and even sound recorders to record creaks and squeaks you can be kept informed. Just find good matches when you are in town.


Last edited by user1007; 04-14-2012 at 04:48 PM.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.