Building a Dream: From Plans to Reality

Are you looking to update your home interior, maybe remodel your kitchen, bathroom or general living space? Whether making renovations or building your home, it is important to find a good general contractor that works for you. This task may seem daunting, but when armed with the correct information, any new homeowner or property manager can find the contractor that will be a perfect fit.

If you are a homeowner looking for a return on investment, then absolutely, yes, renovating your home will add to your property value. Ensure that you research the housing market in your area before you begin though because some projects may put your property value over what is normal for your area. If your home is already edging near the top in terms of value, that $40,000 project might put your house $20,000 over, meaning that’s $20,000 you’ll never see back, as explained by Forbes.

Planning and organization

Before you can find a contractor to build your project, you must first figure out what it is that you are wanting to change in your home and on what budget. Some hardware stores have catalogs that show some options and can even hook you up with a contractor that works through them. Regardless of how you go about picking your project, ensure that you have organized and planned your monetary expenses appropriately or you may have a half-finished project sitting in your home. For more inspiration on renovation ideas, check out these sliding dual barn doors which may add just the right doorway to your new master bathroom or bedroom.

After you have decided what you are building, there are a series of questions that you should ask potential contractors before you move them to the quoting and paperwork phase of your project. Think of it very much as a job interview; the contractor that you pick will be the individual building your dream, so you’ll want to be able to trust them to do it right. It is absolutely acceptable to not just pick anybody. Here are some of the questions that you’ll want to be asking during this step:

What is your experience relevant to this job?

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to run your electricity, and, likewise, you’ll want to ensure that the contractor that you hire will have relevant experience and appropriate training applicable to the job that you are hiring for. Completely rebuilding your kitchen? Ask your carpenter how much time doing this work he has had. You’ll want to hear answers along the lines of, “I have done this many times before,” and also that it has been done successfully. Also, take some personal initiative and look for customer reviews and documented work. The level of craftsmanship you see is often what you get.


Being licensed is completely separate from being insured as a contractor, and these things are both very important. A licensed contractor is a contractor that has proven to his or her state of residence that they are proficient in their trade as an independent contractor and are authorized to do that kind of work. Some cities will impose a fine on you or the contractor for having work done without the proper licensing, so ensure that he is current.


Generally, independent contractors are required to have minimal basic liability insurance that covers property damage in order to legally work. Some contractors, especially well established contracting companies, will have more expansive insurance to cover everything from top-down in a worksite. Contractors with insurance policies like this might price a little higher to reflect the cost incurred by maintaining full coverage insurance, but the coverage can be worth it on high dollar value jobs. People who contract under the table may run much cheaper, but it is often rare that they are licensed or even insured.

Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide what price they’d be willing to pay for a contractor. The most important takeaway should be that you get what you pay for when it comes to contractors, and that often homeowners run a risk going to cheaper under the table contractor options. If you feel that you may be better off doing it yourself and don’t have any major home renovation plans, check out some DIY home tips that are budget-friendly and simple

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