Avoid Remodeling Re-Dos By Choosing a Contractor Carefully Pt.1

June 09, 2012

When you make a mistake in a computer program, you can simply hit the “undo” button to fix the problem immediately. But the solution is not so simple when your Chicago home remodeling project goes awry. Whether it’s a kitchen renovation, bathroom upgrade, new addition, basement facelift or otherwise, if the job isn’t completed to your satisfaction, the results can be costly and the regrets plentiful.

Remodeling ToolsMike Pudlik, MCR, GCP, president of Legacy Design and Construction, Inc. in St. Charles, knows all too well how financially and emotionally draining a botched remodeling job can be to a disgruntled homeowner.

Case in point: a home in the western suburbs where an unfinished addition in the rear of the home had ground to a halt years earlier.

“This project sat for five years before we were called in,” Pudlik said. “We saw code violations with framing, electrical and plumbing work that was either never started or completed, and major structural defects. In this case, the person previously involved didn’t have the skills necessary to do the job right, and the homeowner’s funds had dried up. But we ended up repairing and completing the project appropriately.”

Kirk Bacastow, sales associate with Glenview-based Callahan and Peters, Inc., recalled a recent job where he had to rip out the walls of a shower stall featuring glass tile previously installed by another remodeler.

wall covered in a rainbow of colors“The contractor had put in a new type of waterproof substrate so when moisture passed through the grout it would collect behind the tiles. The homeowners could actually see the water there trapped behind the tiles while they were taking a shower,” said Bacastow, who repaired and waterproofed the walls, onto which he installed hand-made ceramic tiles.

The reasons why major home improvement projects fail or disappoint are numerous, said Jeff Stewart, partner with GCI Contract Floors in Elmhurst.

“Often, a contractor lowballs a bid on a job and then learns that their bid is way under their own budget, so they cut corners or don’t completely finish the work to make up the difference,” Stewart noted. “Also, lack of good communication between the homeowner and the contractor often occurs, which results in very different sets of expectations and, ultimately, bad feelings and exorbitant costs.”

Not having detailed written documentation, with clear written provisions for changes to the project, is another pitfall that can plague a home modification project, added Bacastow.

To avoid eyesores, money-pit projects and expensive regrets, it’s important to do your homework, say the experts.

“Consider hiring a professional to do as much of the project as possible,” Pudlik suggests. “Too many homeowners underestimate the amount of time and planning required as well as the skill level needed, and they attempt to tackle the job themselves, which often ends badly.”

Check back tomorrow to find out what to look for when seeking out a professional remodeler for your home.

Categories: Education, Remodeling

About The Author

Read All Stories By Walsh Communications

Lynn Walsh is the President at Walsh Communications, LLC. Walsh Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing and advertising agency for home builders and real estate-related industries.

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