Big remodelling projects involve the delivery of large quantities of materials. If you’ve hired a general contractor, he or she will arrange the delivery of these materials and make sure all delivered goods are correct and in good condition. If you’re acting as your own general contractor, these will be your responsibilities. You also have the option of picking up some of the materials yourself to save the cost of delivery charges, but this requires extra time and access to a pickup truck. You’ll also need a place to store your materials and keep them safe until you need them – you don’t want to have your new appliances stolen out of an unlocked garage.
For any materials, you don’t pick up yourself make sure to be present during the scheduled delivery to confirm that everything is complete and correct. lt’s crucial that you carefully inspect all shipments for damage and to check them against the invoice for any missing materials. Delivery drivers are almost always in a hurry and may thrust the invoice under your nose for a signature the instant they arrive.
Don’t cave into this pressure; always take the time to review the list of items in the kitchen and inspect the contents before you sign. It can be helpful to call the dispatchers office a few days before the delivery and let them know you’ll need to delay the driver for a few minutes while you review the shipment. lf you find any missing or damaged items, don’t sign the paperwork and don’t accept the delivery. Call the supplier immediately and arrange to have the problem corrected. lf there’s a significant problem with the shipment, ask for a written response that spells out the supplier’s obligations.
A big remodelling project can generate dozens, if not hundreds, of pieces of paper receipts, invoices, delivery slips, permits and contracts. Keeping accurate records can be crucial to avoiding legal disputes and tax problems, so make sure you have a safe place to store these documents and a good system for organising them. If you don’t already have a fireproof file box, this is a good time to buy one.
A folder with several divider pockets will come in handy when sorting receipts. lf you’re working with a general contractor, most of the records related to the actual job will be the contractor’s responsibility. However, it’s important that you keep contracts you have signed and records of any payments made to the general contractor. If you’re managing the job yourself keep a ledger and record on it every expenditure related to the project, but especially materials and labour. Include the dates and methods of payment. When your cleared checks return from the bank, store them with your remodelling records.
Resist the impulse to change your mind once the project is underway: An alteration to an approved remodelling plan is known as a change order, and these orders always cost money sometimes a lot of money. Changing your plan creates added expense for contractors who’ve agreed to a tight schedule and a clear work plan, so they’re well within their rights to charge you more for those changes. lt’s not uncommon for a contractor who has underbid the job to try to boost his or her profits by overcharging for a change order. However, if you’ve followed the suggestions for hiring professionals, your contract will specify limits on what can be charged.
The contracts you’ve signed with contractors should include a payment schedule. Payment schedules vary widely, but in most cases, you’ll be making an initial down payment to each contractor and paying the balance upon completion of the work. For smaller jobs, you can expect to pay 30% to 50% upfront and the balance when the work is completed, although some states limit the initial payment to as little as 10%. For larger projects, you should pay only 10% to 20% upfront, with the balance due at specified intervals during construction.
Always arrange to withhold at least 15% of the total fee until the work is completed; this gives contractors an incentive to finish the work on time and fix any problems that come up. Even if you have the utmost faith in your contractors, never make final payment until they’ve completed all the work to your satisfaction. Also, make sure to get itemised receipts for all your payments.