Get it in writing. How many times have you heard that? Well, this sound advice should also be applied to your home renovation contracts.
Paperwork, paperwork and still more paperwork. Preparing to renovate or build a new home requires thorough planning, attention to detail and solid filing skills.
For every home that I build or renovate, I employ an accordion-style file box to keep track of quotes, product warranties, samples, colour chips, product specs, photos of the house at various stages (these can come in handy down the road), a reduced set of plans, change orders, purchase contracts and all other paperwork related to the project.
I also carry the box with me to each site visit, team meeting or supplier visit.
There have just been too many occasions when I have arrived at a meeting and found that I required some other information related to the house or another product. My file box keeps me organized and well armed.
You can never have enough details or be specific enough. I often hear folks say: "Hey, those aren't the same doors that we saw in the show home." Or: "These aren't the same plumbing fixtures we saw in the showroom." Or: "How come my house needs a new paint job and we have only lived here for a year or two?" (Often painting contractors will use a low-grade flat paint, which doesn't wear well but can make your walls appear flawless.
I usually recommend upgrading the paint to a top-of-the-line product, as a few hundred dollars now will save you a few thousand in labour and paint a year or two down the road.)
Your contractor will have specified many standard products to be used in your home; these may or may not be clearly identified in your contract.