15 Crucial Remodeling Facts You Should Know

If anyone has ever told you that remodeling is easy, they are either extremely lucky or lying through their teeth! One of the most difficult aspects of a remodel is what we call the ‘homeowner-contractor imbalance’. Contractors do projects like yours day-in and day-out, so they know what to expect during the job. That being said, some contractors may not be ideal communicators and might not do the best job at keeping you informed leading up to and during your project. 

We started GreatBuildz to help ‘level’ this imbalance, so we’ve compiled 15 of the most important things you should know about working with contractors during a remodeling project. Get informed on the items below, check out our recommended blogs at the bottom, and give us a call if you have any questions or when you’re ready to get started.


15 Important Things To Know Before Starting a Remodel

15 Important Facts About Remodeling and

Working With Contractors

  1. Contractors may not always be helpful in selecting your finish materials. If you need help and guidance, consider hiring a designer to take charge of assisting with selecting and ordering the right materials that fit the look and feel you’re going for. .
  2. Contractors can’t always answer your call or respond right away. Be realistic in your expectations of their responsiveness and understand that many good contractors take an active role in their projects – that means they might be on a ladder, meeting with inspectors for other clients, or otherwise hard at work helping other clients. Make sure you discuss expectations surrounding communication to ensure there aren’t any surprises down the road.
  3. Expect that your contractor will miss some workdays, due to a variety of possible issues.
  4. Be aware that construction happens in a certain order. If one tradesperson or material is delayed, the whole job gets set back.
  5. If the job gets put on hold temporarily while waiting for materials to arrive, you can’t always expect the contractor to jump-start immediately when they arrive. They have other jobs to work around.
  6. Both you and your contractor are at the mercy of city inspectors. There is no way to control their schedule. If they are backlogged, it will cause delays.
  7. Be aware that you (or someone you’ve put in charge) must actively oversee the project, so issues don’t compound. While part of the reason for hiring a general contractor, in theory, is for their ability to manage the project… the best path to success is when all parties take an active role in the project. Plus, your contractor can’t read your mind – so overseeing your project regularly will ensure that everything is completed exactly to your expectations.
  8. If you change your mind about materials or other elements of your remodel during the project, it will cause delays and extra costs. If you have thoughts about making any changes, tell your contractor ASAP so they can discuss your options and plan accordingly.
  9. Expect that poor weather and city inspections can sometimes cause delays.
  10. Contractors work on multiple projects concurrently, and uncontrollable issues with other projects sometimes lead to delays in your remodel. Try to be patient and understanding, and when appropriate, you can be the ‘squeaky wheel’ in order to have your job prioritized.
  11. Ordering materials that aren’t in-stock can lead to delays.
  12. You should expect good quality, but not perfection in the final product. Especially when working on a project within an existing space (kitchen, bathroom, etc.), it’s important to understand that the starting space likely isn’t perfectly square, flush, or smooth. Almost anything is possible for the right price, but we recommend prioritizing what matters most and only pushing for the most important elements for you.
  13. Expect to have cost overruns for potential issues that arise; budget for a 10-20% project contingency.
  14. Most contractors prioritize speedy progress as much as you do, but projects often encounter unpredictable delays. Expect to have delays and anticipate a 20-25% longer construction period than planned.
  15. Be aware that the company owner or salesperson will not be the one doing the daily work at your home, so you should only expect to see them sporadically.

Interested in more tips on planning a successful remodel? Below are a few more articles on the topic:

10 Common Home Remodeling Surprises, and how to avoid them!

How To Set Realistic Expectations For Your Renovation Project

5 Tip For Living at Home While Renovating


Ready to embark on a renovation project of your own? With our free GreatBuildz service, we’ll personally match you with the best-fit contractors for your specific project.
Our staff will support you through every step in the process, from scheduling site visits, comparing bids, and ensuring your project stays on track once you hire your favorite contractor. Find out how at GreatBuildz, “We Make It Easy To Find a Great Contractor”.
Give us a call at 818.317.3567 or submit the form below to get started!