What to look for in your contractor?

What-to-look-for-in-a-contractor

Insured

  • Obtain a copy of their liability and worker’s compensation coverage

Many contractors do not have the proper coverage to properly protect themselves or their clients. The remodeling and construction industry is a competitive marketplace and some contractors may look to be more competitive by not obtaining the proper insurance and thus having a lower cost to operate. Proper insurance and workers compensation coverage can easily add 15-20% to a contractors labor cost.

Registered

  • Check with Iowa Workforce Development to ensure your contractor is registered in the state of Iowa. You can complete the search here. (if you are searching for us type our name in as two words, Home Worx)

This is another method to ensure a contractor has the proper credentials. When a contractor initially becomes registered with the state they are required to provide documentation proving they have the proper insurance and workers compensation coverage.

Reputable

  • Check around the usual places; Facebook, Google Reviews, Houzz, Yelp, etc. to ensure your contractor consistently has positive reviews over an extended period of time.

The internet has become a great resource to easily find the reputable companies and just as easy to find the not so reputable ones. In today’s age it is critical for a business to provide superior customer service. The customer has never had so much power in terms of their voice. A negative review can be understandable as their are difficult customers but it should not be a theme in any business.

Soft Skills

  • Do you like them? It may sound funny since this is a business transaction but depending on the scope of your project you could be working with this company for a considerable length of time.

This is often overlooked in many consumer transactions but in remodeling you have to consider this as a relationship. Both sides need to make sure they are the right fit for each other. Find a contractor who listens to your ideas and works hard to ensure the finished product is what you want.

Responsive

  • Do they respond to you in an adequate time frame?

Look for this early in the contractor selection process. If they are slow to return your initial call that could be a sign of things to comes.

Of course there are so many other things to consider in your selection process. However, ff you find contractors that pass the muster with these items we feel they are likely a good fit for your remodel.

Top 3 Remodeling Trends to Look Out For in 2018

If you’re considering a remodel as part of your plans for 2018, there are a number of things to consider. While we love the unique and innovative remodeling trends that are just coming onto the scene, we often recommend that clients look into a mix of trendy and timeless pieces that their going to love for many years to come. So with that said, here are our favorite remodeling trends for 2018 that won’t be going anywhere any time soon!

Trend #1: Accessibility

Not only is this trend absolutely stunning, it’s also incredibly functional. Redesigning common spaces like kitchens, family and dining rooms to reflect a more open layout allows you to utilize all of the space available, and make the most of each room.

This can be quite an extensive project, but it’s really up to you how you’d like to proceed with a design like this. We’re not going to lie, removing entire walls to create an open floor plan isn’t an easy project, but there are ways to mimic the effect without going to the extreme. A great middle-of-the-road compromise that we’ve seen people do is to create pass-throughs or widen entry ways. This still makes the space look larger and more open, without the full cost of taking down an entire wall. That being said, consult with your contractor before making a decision one way or another. Often times the cost for taking a wall down isn’t as exorbitant as people think.

For entertainers, this trend is a godsend. Open living plans allow you to interact with all your guests, so you don’t all end up sectioned off in different rooms. Additionally, these designs are great for foodies and those who spend most of their time in the kitchen. With extensive counter space, you can prepare any dish while keeping an eye on your kids in the family room.

To add some extra storage into these designs, custom cabinetry is the way to go. Specially designed upper and lower kitchen cabinets are great for organization, and TV stands with additional storage space are perfect for concealing toys, gaming consoles, and additional wires and cables, creating a clean and polished look.

black and white tile

Trend #2: Texture, Tone and Tile

The days of all white interiors with subway tile are behind us, and it’s a bright future ahead. Taking a nod from the brightly colored accent walls that we’ve seeing for years, this fun twist on classic pieces can breathe new life back into an otherwise average space.

One of the easiest ways to interject this trend is with tiling. Smaller spaces like your backsplash or shower tiling are great ways to brighten up a space without overwhelming it. Whether it’s an innovative pattern with a neutral color palette, or a classic style that’s been revamped in a new shade, these smaller projects often have a much bigger impact than you would expect.

A word of caution though: Before you decide on a color or pattern, consider what you’re going to think about it in 5 or 10 years. You may love millenial pink now, but it might not be your cup of tea down the road. This doesn’t mean you have to shy away from colors entirely, but more muted shades like navy or olive tend to have better longevity.

Trend #3: Swapping Storage for Style

More and more, we’re seeing clients that want to take their attics and basements and turn them into fully functional entertainment spaces. Whether that’s an extra guest bedroom, office, playroom or game room, it seems like everyone is trying to take advantage of all the extra square footage available.

The good news about this trend, is that it doesn’t need to be a complete swap. You can still opt for an attic or basement remodel, without sacrificing all your storage space. Again, the key here is customizable cabinetry. Built in shelving units look great, but can also hide away the things you don’t want to have out all the time.

 

With most of these trends, as well as others that are cropping up as we move into the new year, it’s about finding a balance between style and structure. Interjecting these trends into your remodel doesn’t just look fantastic, it helps to ensure that you’ll still be getting the most use out of these spaces for years to come.

Our Process… In the Weeds

Homeworx-infographic-Final-01
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I love processes. I am constantly looking for the best way to complete a task efficiently without sacrificing quality. At HomeWorx, we know the perfect process is like a unicorn, it does not exist… it is unattainable, as there is always a better way. If anyone tries to tell you differently I would argue they are lying. Even though we know perfection will never be achieved in our process we constantly pursue it because we know it will only help our business and our clients.

Below, you will find the details behind the process we take to prepare and execute a remodel. Many of the steps you probably have seen on our remodeling pages. We hope this gives you insight and appreciation into the work that goes into a remodel. If you prefer to see the high level process for our services you can look at the individual Bathroom Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling and Basement Finishing pages.

As we evolve and improve we will update this post accordingly to ensure it stays up to date with our pursuit of perfection.

infographic showing remodeling process

[wp-svg-icons icon=”bubbles” wrap=”i”] Initial Consultation

  • Step Description
    • For us it all starts with the initial consultation. Whether you called us directly to set up an appointment or set it up yourself via our online self serve appointment calendar we love to meet our clients face to face. We do very little screening over the phone as we feel every potential customer should be given an in home consultation no matter the project.
  • Step Goals:
    • Discuss project scope
    • Discuss goals of project
    • Initial discussion on materials
    • Gather measurements
    • Look for potential areas of concern to limit any surprises down the road
  • What we like about this process step:
    • Estimates out within 48 business hours
    • Screening out clients: We don’t do it, we don’t believe in it. Just because your project may not be the biggest doesn’t mean we don’t want to talk to you about it if it falls in our areas of expertise.
    • No time windows: We show up when we say we will

[wp-svg-icons icon=”pencil” wrap=”i”] Draft Proposal

  • Step Description
    • During the 48 hours after your appointment we will be busy drafting your proposal. During this time we will be completing the following items:
      • Gathering costs for any sub-contractors needed (i.e. electrical, plumbing)
      • Determining expected material costs
        • Don’t worry if you don’t have all of your materials finalized. We will use our data analytics from similar previous projects to estimate a cost for yours. If you decide to work with us we will finalize these numbers as materials are selected, always keeping the budget in mind.
      • Reviewing our current calendar to give you an estimated start date taking into account lead time for materials.
  • Step Goals:
    • Create a proposal that puts a realistic cost to your project
    • Help you understand where your money is going by providing line item details for the different expenses
  • What we like about this process step:
    • We think you deserve to understand where money is being spent. We do not just provide a grand total number. Our proposals are broken out in detail to show you where money is being spent.
    • Proposals are turned around quickly. This ensures we have your project top of mind when completing the proposal and better yet doesn’t leave you waiting around.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”thumbs-up” wrap=”i”] Decision Time: GO 🙂 or no go 🙁

  • Step Description
    • At this point the ball is in your court. We will be waiting on the sidelines in case you have any questions.
    • If you are on the fence during this time we can move forward with drawings and 3D mockups. If you decide to move forward with HomeWorx for your remodel this will be free of charge.
  • Step Goals
    • Provide the client with the appropriate information so they can come to the best decision.
  • What we like about this process step:
    • No high pressure sales.
    • We will come back as many times as needed to make you comfortable with our company.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”image-2″ wrap=”i”] Design

  • Step Description
    • During this phase we will work with you to determine the exact materials to be used on your project. If needed, we will meet with you at local suppliers around town to educate and help with product selection. Throughout this time we will be modifying and tweaking our 3D model to ensure you are getting exactly what you want.
  • Step Goals
    • Create blueprints as needed for your project
    • Mockup 3D visuals
    • Help the client to ensure the end product is exactly what they want
    • List of materials to be used on project
  • What we like about this process step:
    • We bring you the latest technology to ensure you are satisfied with what the finished product will look like before we ever swing a hammer. And this is of no charge to you.
    • 3D modeling is fun for us! And honestly, if you are preparing to do a major remodel in your forever home, you want to make sure it’s going to look right before investing a large amount of money.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”checkmark-2″ wrap=”i”] Finalize Proposal

  • Step Description
    • Once the design decisions have been finalized we will revisit the proposal to make needed adjustments. These will include entering actual material prices based on your selections and updating any other line items based on changes as you’ve thought more about the design.
  • Step Goals
    • Finalize the project contract price. The only change in pricing from here will be due to changes made by the client once the project is started or if issues are found after demo that we had no reasonable way of knowing.
    • Signed contract
  • What we like about this process step:
    • We don’t like surprises and we know our clients don’t either. Our fixed price contract will give you comfort in knowing the price of your project.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”stack” wrap=”i”] Schedule job

  • Step Description
    • This is a quick stop but an important one. During this phase we will review our schedule to determine when we can begin the job taking into account your personal preference and schedule. We likely will have penciled in dates earlier in the process but now we will finalize exact dates taking into account final designs, material lead times and labor availability.
  • Step Goals
    • Project calendar finalized
  • What we like about this process step:
    • Once the job is scheduled we will make it available to you via our online project management site. Things do change in the schedule once the project gets off the ground but you will be able to see those changes live as we adjust the calendar throughout your project.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”wrench” wrap=”i”] Remodel

  • Step Description
    • Little description is needed here… it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! It’s time to take all the work done up to this point and make it a reality.
  • Step Goals
    • Raving Fans!
  • What we like about this process step:
    • What is there not to like? This is what it’s all about but there are some other specifics we like…
    • Daily Communication
    • Online access to your entire project – calendar, proposal, change orders, daily logs, project photos and the list goes on!

If you are interested in additional reading on this subject, NARI has an article that starts even earlier in the remodeling process. It discusses such things as selecting the right contractor and budgeting for a remodel. You can find that article here.