Raleigh Remodelers Offer 5 Key Tips For Ensuring A Good Outcome And A Good Experience With Your Remodeler

Posted on | July 5, 2016 | No Comments

A home is a huge emotional and financial investment, so naturally renovation projects are often daunting for homeowners. To help them feel more confident, North Carolina Design sought advice from veteran Raleigh remodelers, Peggy and Dave Mackowski, husband and wife owners of Quality Design & Construction. Peggy and Dave have been renovating homes throughout the Triangle area for 22 years, and are a trusted resource in the industry. They were kind enough to provide us with 5 key remodeling tips on how homeowners can ensure themselves both a good outcome, and a good experience.

Images Courtesy of Quality Design & Construction ©

Select The Right Professional
“First of all, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured,” stresses Peggy. “Check their background. Ask for work samples and references, and call the last references first. People always put their best references at the top. And – make sure they have experience with the type of project you want to have done,” adds Dave. “When you look at work samples, double check to make sure it really was their project. Sadly, some contractors will download photos of someone else’s work and claim it as their own.”

Finding the right professional isn’t always about credentials, credibility and know-how. “You have to be a good fit for each other,” notes Peggy. “You will be working closely with this person, possibly for six months or more. You have to make sure they are someone you’re comfortable with. Someone you trust with your kids, and your animals, and your home. Someone who you feel listens to you and understands you. If you’re not a good fit, you’re likely headed for a bad experience.”

Create A Realistic Budget
Homeowners are typically unfamiliar with homebuilding costs, and can be surprised when they’re presented with the budget. “We create a budget up front based on the homeowner’s wants and needs,” Dave tells us. “We always share costs with them, so that they can see where the money is going. When your contractor presents you with a cost estimate, it’s really important to accept that number and move on, whether that means making changes to your plans, or mentally adjusting to the amount you’ll be spending.”

Make Timely Decisions
In the building process, one decision can affect many others. Dave and Peggy emphasize that it’s very important to make decisions early on in the process – and stick to them. “The idea is not to rush homeowners or make them feel overwhelmed,” notes Peggy. “It’s to help them to understand that there is a timetable to work with, and timely decisions are essential to things running smoothly.”

“We will help them through the process,” adds Dave. “If need be, we can take more time in the planning stage. Sometimes longer planning up front can be cost saving and provide a quicker turnaround time. It’s really important to be sure about what you want. Changing your mind in the middle of a build is not a simple thing – it will cost you both time and money.”

Communicate Clearly
It’s important for both parties to have clarity – the contractor should clearly understand what the client wants and needs, and the client should clearly understand what will happen during the process. “We make sure we have a signed contract in place before any work begins.” says Dave. “Any changes to the plan translate into additional time and cost, so clients have to sign off on them.”

“Ask questions about how many people will be working in your home, how often you will be updated, how the team communicates internally, and how they will communicate with you,” advises Peggy. “If you know what to expect and can manage your expectations up front, you’ll feel much more confident with the process, and you’ll have a better experience.”

Trust Your Professional’s Guidance
“We really do want to give homeowners what they want,” says Peggy. “After all, they have to live with whatever we do to their home for years to come. That being said, we do have a great deal of experience that homeowners generally don’t have, and we have valuable solutions and ideas to offer.” Dave adds, “If you have chosen the right person, they aren’t going to steer you wrong. If you’ll trust in their guidance, you’ll end up with something far better than you imagined.”

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