Don’t be Fooled, Top 10 Deck Remodeling homework assignments for you
Dream – Design - Budget – Prepare - Execute
- Start with a ‘Wish List’: smart design will help in overall planning
Do you want built in benches, privacy walls, special deck designs? …the sky’s the limit, DREAM BIG
- Grab styles, ideas, and pictures to help bring it to life
After you dream BIG, time to get some pictures together and get them in your scrapbook. Even picking out a design you see online helps.
- Vacation bathrooms are NOT the best starting points for design
We CAN GET IDEAS from vacation properties, or cool restaurants, but a picture with a space like yours is the best help.
- Return on Investment (ROI) can be managed
- You will probably either sell the house or live with it for 20 years, so make it count
If you are making decisions for a 10 year deck use, then realize at least several times a year you will be out there, either entertaining, sun bathing, enjoying drinks or dinner, — you get the point – it needs to be functional and stylish so that you can enjoy your use.
- Budgeting is painful but necessary
- Before calling a contractor, have your elements and budget loosely defined
This will save you time and aggravation and help you on the next phase of preparation. The more you can give the contractor to prepare an estimate of the work cost, the closer it will be. You will NOT get an apples to apples comparison of quotes, it doesn’t happen like that, I don’t care how detailed you are, but this will help you get in the range that you can set your expectations.
(Speaking of contractors, know who you are dealing with. Are they Licensed as a General Contractor as well as Licensed with the State? Have they been in business for over 10 years and demonstrated longevity in the marketplace? Are they a member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and NADRA (North American Deck & Railing Association)?
- It WILL TAKE LONGER than anyone tells you or you expect
Choosing a contractor to take the next step into execution requires some homework on your part. You need to look at online reviews, did you FEEL like this person or company was knowledgeable? If the work requires permitting, are they comfortable with that process? Can they give you best- and worst-case timeline estimates and base them on experience, TRUST ME, this is a process and sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned and they need to be able to have the ability to respond.
- Don’t pay for it all until you have had a chance to try it (holding back 5% isn’t bad)
No contractor wants to get behind in cash flow for your project, but they also shouldn’t be using your money to finance another project. Coming up with an acceptable draw schedule to manage the project and work with allowing 5% to be paid after you are in it for a couple of days and trying it out, will keep everybody’s interest aligned and believe me they will NOT run when you still have 5% of their money.
- Enjoy IT!