There are few projects in the home that generate as much excitement—and suspense and uncertainty—as a home remodel. If you work with the right professional, communicate your priorities and go in with the right expectations, your beautifully-remodeled interior can have a TREMENDOUS impact on your quality of life.
It’s this impact on quality of life that we call return on enjoyment.
You can also increase your home’s value, of course. For a workbook to get you started on the projects with the biggest bang for your buck, download our Remodel Planner. (And if you are remodeling to sell, look at our checklist on how to get your home ready.) By remodeling, you can also extend the livable time in your home if your updates incorporate concepts of designing for all ages.
You probably know all that, though. What you might not know—or have clearly defined—is what your expectations for your remodel really are…and what they should be. Going in with misaligned expectations can mean YEARS of dissatisfaction in your home, not to mention thousands of wasted dollars.
Not only is the right remodeler a big deal, but knowing what to expect of them is just as important. Sometimes, it’s worth even more. By communicating your expectations to your remodeler (and keeping them accountable), you can make sure to get your money’s worth out of this investment—and, in the case of the truly perfect remodeler, your expectations also have the best chance of being exceeded.
There are some baseline expectations set by the industry standard for “what you should get” out of a contract with a remodeler. Learn about those in our Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Contractor. Here, in contrast, we’re going to get into some of the expectations that aren’t the norm, but should be!
Your contractor should be not just knowledgeable but ready to consult with regards to planning and permit requirements. Zoning laws should be their second language, and they should be skilled at actively looking for the solutions and custom design that meet your needs and wants while staying fully compliant with local law.
If your remodeler does NOT show their stuff in this permit-specific design and consultation, they’re not the company you want taking over your project…
Once plans are drawn up and your design is 3D-rendered and looking AMAZING, you should expect your remodeler to fill out and submit all the required permit paperwork on for your project. You would not BELIEVE the submissions the municipality receives…chicken scratch on napkins!! This paperwork has to be filled out completely and correctly, or you risk BIG delays (and disappointments) in your remodel project…
Once permit paperwork is submitted, you deserve to work with the contractor who will do the leg work to follow up and make sure everything’s in order. This means reaching out to the municipality personally to ask if any additional paperwork is needed, and to check the timeline and status of permit approval.
This should come naturally to the right contractor, because that company will already do this as a regular practice and have channels to local municipalities already defined…
This last expectation is one that plays near and dear to our hearts…because it’s one of the ways we stand out from other remodeling companies in Texas. Actually, it’s one of the reasons we’re the first and only NARI-Accredited remodeling firm in the state—this kind of project management and permit oversight is not just an expectation we’ve set for all of our projects, it’s also one we’re trying to set as a standard industry-wide!!
There’s one recent example I want to share with you…it’s a case in point.
This actually just happened last week. It’s what got me thinking about what expectations SHOULD be part of every remodel, and why I wrote this article.
We had a client contact us not too long ago with a fairly simply project. He just wanted to build an outside structure in his back yard. The pad was already poured from when the pool was done, and now he was dreaming of a covered area where he could enjoy the outdoors with his family.
The thing is, this client already has the city limit of “accessory buildings” I his yard. In other words, this new structure had to look integrated with the existing structure. It had to tie in and both look and feel like an original part of the home.
Of course, when this client contracted Signature Home Services, we started with our in-depth design process. 3D renderings were drawn up, and Rob carefully crafted the design that would blend naturally into the neighboring structure.
Then, after all the paperwork was submitted, Rob personally followed up with the municipality. Getting ahead of these conversations proactively is what can save homeowners WEEKS (and thousands of dollars), because a permit can be rejected if any paperwork is left out or filled in incorrectly.
And when the city does come back to give you a chance to submit the right paperwork? Most homeowners are understandably stumped!!
…What shocks me is how this stumps CONTRACTORS, too!
With Rob, though, there’s nothing unexpected like that. Ever. In this case, he emailed the city himself to ensure they had everything they needed. He wanted to be certain he’d made the lot ratios clear…and that the design renderings were received…and that, in general, no question was left unanswered.
And, go figure, Rob’s permit paperwork was absolutely what the municipality wanted. In fact, it’s what they’re always hoping for, but which most homeowners and many contractors aren’t experienced in crafting and submitting.
Exceeding expectations is how we look at every project. And they’re not just your expectations—we have ours, also. We work to set a higher standard for the industry, and then exceed those expectations, too.
This story really got me thinking and I hope now it has you thinking, too. For the investment you put into a home remodel—in money terms and in emotional terms—you deserve higher expectations! Write me personally and tell me what your expectations are for your next remodel, too!!