How to Choose the Best Home Renovation Service Professionals
The best home renovation service professionals will make the job of making your home beautiful and functional a breeze. Don’t be tempted to try to take it on yourself. Here’s why.
Your home is most probably going to be your biggest life investment. Protect your investment by treating it to the best you can, and that includes professional care. Professional contractors have the resources and training to transform your home beautifully and properly. They will help you figure out the flow of your project, as well as the budget and timeline. They will also take you through what to expect throughout the project and be able to handle any situations that might come up. Finally, they will supervise contractors and ensure smooth sailing all along the way.
For the more technical aspects of home renovations like gas and electrical work, licensed professionals are actually required by law, you can’t do it on your own. Furthermore, licensed contractors are knowledgeable in building science and the best ways to maximise your home space in comfort and functionality. They can also help you deal with compulsory building permits, understand the regulations and what they imply.
Other benefits of hiring a professional contractor is that they will have built up good working relationships with building suppliers and sub-traders. Thanks to those relationships, they have a wide variety of materials to choose from and can get good rates to drive down costs for you. They can give you accurate estimates, too, since they know what it would take to do the job. This is especially important if you need to work within a strict budget.
What Does Home Renovation Service Include?
The basics are typically about function and could include a functional roof, gutters, and downspouts, a waterproof basement, solid floors and walls, reliable retaining walls, and a reliable cooling system.
* Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is when you are concerned about the aesthetics of the home, too. Spruce-ups could include low-cost landscaping, a well-kept lawn, fresh interior and exterior paint, clean and bright carpets, and new fixtures.
Value-added renovations might involve kitchen renovations, new siding and windows. These are the most worth investing in as they will drive up the value of your home.
* Personal Preference
Personal preference projects are more about amenities like tennis court, hot tubs, swimming pools, ponds, or basement game rooms.
How Do I Choose a Home Renovation Service Professional?
* Be Sure of What You Want
A home renovation is a huge project, not to be entered into lightly. You will definitely need to define your renovation project before you do anything else and be clear about what kind of work you need to be done. A certain project might need a certain type of contractor and you might end up hiring the wrong type for your work, wasting money and time.
Step back and analyse which projects are the most pressing. Find specialist contractors for those jobs and you can be rest assured that they will do a satisfactory job.
* Ask Your Neighbours
It’s natural to turn to friends and family for recommendations, but how about your neighbours? Have a look around your neighbourhood to see who has just refurbished their home. If it looks good, ask them if they were satisfied with the results and for the contractor’s contact. At least you know they will service your area and that they do a good job.
* Don’t Settle, Be Specific, and Be Smart
Don’t follow the prescribed formulas of ‘get three estimates’ or ‘get five estimates’. Three not is a large enough number to get a good cross section of estimates from which to make an informed choice. Go for as many estimates as you feel is necessary until you feel comfortable that you are making an informed choice.
When you do shortlist your contractors, still don’t settle for the estimates they give you. Be very clear about everything, including what materials they propose and don’t be shy to query until you know exactly what you’re paying for. Ask your contractor to go through each material and the best options function-wise and price-wise.
Avoid contractors who ask for full payment upfront. Professional contractors should only need down payment to cover the cost of some of the materials and service to start them off on your job.
* Basic Instincts
Don’t forget to listen to your instincts too – you will feel it in your gut when you’ve found a contractor with whom you ‘gel’. You will be working very closely with your contractor and their crew over the next few weeks, or even months, so feeling comfortable with them and being able to talk frankly to them is important. The best home renovation service professionals might be the ones who listen closely to their client’s wishes and communicates clearly and precisely. They will also check in with you periodically to update you on work done, settle questions, and outline their plans moving forward.
* Are They Really Professional?
There are many contractors out there who are moonlighting with their little bit of know-how. How do you pick the true professionals? Aside from asking for their licensing, which proves they have received the requisite training, ask them as many questions as you need to to feel totally comfortable with giving them your big project. If they are truly experienced, they would be willing and able to answer your queries with ease.
If they are dedicated professionals, they would also be accredited with the relevant best business practises organisations. Ask for proof of this, and check out their online ratings and status.
* How Long Have They Been Around? Past Jobs?
You definitely don’t want fly-by-night contractors who get into hot water for bad jobs, close to avoid liability suits, then reopen under a new name a few months later! If you want to shortlist a smaller contractor, ask them outright how long they have been in business. Make sure to verify this information. The longer they have been in business, the more likely they are serious about what they do. Also ask them about some of their past jobs and have a look at the photo gallery they would have on their website or social media page.
* Busy is Good
It might seem natural to go with the first contractor who’s available when you are, but, consider this. Why are they free, if they are actually that good? The better a job they do, they more customers they would have, right? A waiting period might indicate that they are in high demand and have to schedule their customers because they are great at what they do. Get on that schedule and work your timetable around theirs … it’s worth the wait to have an exceptional job done.
* Who Is Involved
The best home renovation service professionals might assign you an office liaison as a go-between between you, the crew, and the company’s head office. This person will be your assigned contact point. If not a company executive, then usually the project foreman would be your point of contact. Make sure you have their contacts and that they are timely with their response.
It’s also important to know exactly who will be in and out of your home for the next few weeks to months. Will the company send their own contractors or will some or all of the work be subcontracted out? Make sure you know how many contractors will be allowed onsite and get their details. Checking out their references is the best thing to do. Meet them prior to the start-work date, if you can, especially . Ascertain whether you will be providing them with access to your property if you’re not around or will you be there while they are working?
What Are the Prices I Might Expect?
Average Renovation Costs for Property Types
General home renovations include electrical wiring overhaul, carpentry, painting, plastering and wet works.
Condominium RM40,000 – RM150,000
Terrace RM60,000 – RM250,000
Semi-Detached RM100,000 to RM300,000
Bungalow RM150,000 – RM600,000
Average Renovation Costs for Specific Jobs
* Flooring – Parquet, vinyl, carpet, etc. RM4.50 – RM60
* Plumbing – Sanitary fittings for the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry and yard (if applicable)
Water heater RM250 average
Sink and tap RM300 average
Toilet bowl RM400 average
* Electrical Works – Power, lighting, cable points, etc. (not including hacking and re-plastering)
Power point RM70 – RM100
Lighting point RM40 – RM90
Telephone point RM100 – RM120
Two-Way Switch RM180
* Feature Wall – A statement piece that will be the centrepiece of your home.
Paint RM80 per square foot average
Plywood laminate RM80 per square foot average
Decorative stone veneers (brick effect) RM10 – RM30 per square foot (minus installation)
* Carpentry Work – Kitchen countertops, wardrobes, study tables, etc.
TV console RM150 – RM300 per foot run
Shoe cabinet RM300 – RM500 per foot run
Kitchen cabinet RM100 – RM300 per foot run
Kitchen countertop (wood, solid, granite, quartz) RM150 – RM250 per foot run
Wardrobe RM350 – RM600 per foot run
Study table RM200 – RM300 per foot run
* False Ceiling – You can add dimension to a room with a false ceiling, especially if the ceiling is very high, or to install recessed lighting in. They also conceal stray service lines, cables and electrical wires.
Plaster RM2 – RM5 per square foot
Light Trough RM7 – RM30 per foot run
* Wall Hacking – To open up a space, build a partition or half wall, combine 2 rooms, or reshape the layout of your home.
RM20 per square feet