The final cost of home renovations in Victoria comes as a very unpleasant surprise to many people, but I'm going to show you that it doesn't need to be that way.
One of the biggest reasons for this surprise is a lack of planning and communication. It has to begin between you and your spouse and the home renovation companies you speak with.
Be sure you both make a wish list of all the things you really want or need and then sit down and discuss the reasons they're so important to you both. Talk about your feelings especially!
Having a budget in mind is vital so look over your finances really well and if need be, meet with your banker to figure out what you can afford. Please, DO NOT overestimate your ability to pay because whatever debt you take on must be manageable.
Because you're going to let a stranger into your home, ask for contractor referrals from trusted sources like friends, family and colleagues. You want to feel comfortable with this person so set up an appointment to interview them where you can get a feel for their communication style and abilities.
View examples of their work and be sure to speak with previous clients. The contractor should have a written list of names and phone numbers. Demand to see their business license and Worker's Compensation account number. And if they're members of the Better Business Bureau that's a great indication they're in business for the long haul.
Now if you haven't scared them off yet, it's time to ask for a rough estimate as to cost of home renovations for your project.
I strongly suggest starting out with just an estimate instead of an exact quote to ensure that it's in the ballpark of your budget. It means neither you nor the contractor is spending a lot of time on this in case you decide to cancel your plans for whatever reason.
And find out what percentage of variation there might be in this estimate. For instance, 20% is quite common at this early stage.
So after interviewing and requesting estimates from several Victoria renovation companies, you should have a fairly clear idea of what's affordable, what's doable and who you want to work with. Once you make your choice then get everything in writing, especially costs!
Things to look for in that written contract are start dates, completion dates, incremental payments to the contractor, down payment (no more than 1/3), details of materials used, daily site cleanup, noise and dust factors and use of subcontractors.
By insisting on clear, written communication from the start, you're less likely to be surprised by the unexpected high cost of home renovations. Our goal at Toolbox Renovations is to have an organized and pleasant experience instead of the all too common nightmare!