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A Great Way to Avoid Remodeling Project Nightmares

Jun 5, 2008
When doing any sort of remodeling or construction project, if it's not a diy project and you're not the contractor or doing it yourself, you'll most likely end up hiring a contractor or tradesman to work on your remodeling project. There are a lot of horror stories floating around of remodeling project nightmares and litigation with contractors that probably could have been easily avoided with better communication.

Communication is critical in making sure that what you're trying achieve is clearly understood by your contractor. For an example, in some parts of the country it is standard practice for some drywall contractors to screw in the ceiling drywall but nail in the walls.

If your remodeling project is in a humid part of the country, with all the fluctuations in humidity, you'll have the nails start popping out within a couple of years whereas screwing the drywall eliminates this problem but if you don't specify and just assume that your contractor knows you prefer him to screw in the drywall instead of simply nailing in the drywall and it doesn't go the way you assumed it naturally would there could be a problem.

Another example is the exact height or placement of something. I remember one project I had to put in a through the wall air conditioner into a room and to me it seemed logical that the contractor would line up the top of the air conditioner with a hung picture on the adjacent wall because aesthetically that would flow much better and it never even occurred to me that he wouldn't automatically know to do that. I had only left the room for a few minutes but when I came back the hole was already cut and it was nearly 6 inches below where I assumed it would be but I hadn't actually specified this with the contractor so he put it where HE thought it would be most logical to put it.

Photos are another great way to get your point across. For example if you are trying to design your landscape you might take a photo of your house to the nursery so they can give you their suggestions about what might be most suitable to what you're wanting to achieve. Or if you are having issues with the building inspectors and something isn't passing inspection bringing a photo to them can be very helpful for clarification.

Don't just assume your contractor knows what you want. Make sure you specify everything EXACTLY how and where and when you want it. Putting all the exact details in writing is not just good practice but an absolute must. That will save you lots of frustration, do overs, and possibly even litigation.
About the Author
Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Remodeling houses and home improvement diy are her area of interest. Find out insider information that will save you $1000's on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at Remodeling Recon.
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