Home remodels are typically large projects that involve multiple contractors and subcontract labor companies. It’s an exciting time to see your average home be changed into your dream home, and it's also stressful, as the decisions you make now are going to affect your comfort for years to come. Like most other projects you’ve ever tackled, the process can be simplified if you take the time to consider what you hope to accomplish and how best to reach your goals.
Formulate the plan
The process begins with determining specifically what you hope to accomplish. Friends and family are going to offer advice that may or may not be relevant to your project, as their remodeling experience may have been based on different goals. The basis of the project can be substantially different if you’re bringing an older home up to modern standards or if your home is newer but needs updates to match your lifestyle. Updating your kitchen with new cabinetry and appliances, for example, is going to be a completely different project than building a new kitchenette from scratch to provide for long-term guests in a basement apartment.
Discuss the requirements with your general contractor
The obvious solution is to begin with a general contractor who is experienced in the type of work you expect to have performed. To continue with the previous example, most contractors will be capable of building the new kitchen or updating the existing one. However, the two jobs are inherently different, and different contractors are going to bring different experiences to the table. The idea is to interview several contractors and determine which one is going to be best for the job at hand. At this point, you’re probably going to be working closely with the contractor for the next month to assure work is done properly and according to your standards.
Hire the electrician
In a perfect world, the contractor can bring in his own electrician, and you will have no worries. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A general contractor license does not cover electric work, which has to be independently certified to assure that it is completed according to local code and laws. Ultimately, the responsibility comes back to the homeowner to assure that the electrician is properly licensed and insured to provide reliable work that adds value to the home rather than conducting improper work that detracts from the home’s value.