Remodeling a kitchen can be a huge undertaking, involving a great deal of time, money and patience. But have you ever wondered if there are ways that you can better manage the project, even when you’re not on-site much of the time? First and foremost, use an association to find the best kitchen or bath remodeler like the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association

What is the contractor doing when you’re not around? Is the project costing you more that it should? Are other things going on that you feel you should know about, and be able to manage better?

Well chances are good that if you were around more, there would certainly be some things you would do differently. But there are ways that you can more effectively manage your contractor, even if you’re not in the home during the process.

Kitchen Remodeling1

We’ll discuss a few of them here today…

1) Avoid Allowances. This is generally defined as an item in the contractor’s bid for something that has yet to be determined. For example, if you haven’t chosen what type of paint you want to use, this might be included in the contract as a placeholder. In practice, you don’t want to allow these because the price range can vary significantly on these items, and you should be paying based on the cost of what you choose. Either make these decisions before the contract is accepted, or do some shopping on your own to determine a ballpark price for the materials that you’re considering.

2) Establish Good Communication. Communication is key in any successful relationship, and this includes with the contractor doing your kitchen remodel. You want to be on-site talking with your contractor as much as you can, and keep his cell phone number handy to call or text about things that might come up. It’s also good to stay up to date with progress reports on a regular basis.

3) Keep A Project Journal. It’s good to write things down along the way to record things like questions you want to ask your contractor, new ideas, product order numbers and delivery dates, among others.

4) Track All Changes In Writing. If changes have been made since the contract was signed, you’re definitely going to want to keep a written account of this. This will avoid issues in the future, for both parties. And make sure these change orders are signed by both of you before the work is completed. Eddie Sanchez, owner of NXS Home Remodeling of San Antonio says “Latent changes can cause something called project creep, this can hinder the contractor from finishing the project on time while also crashing the budget.”

5) Check The Work. A good time to do this is after the crew has left for the day, but you definitely want to stay on top of the work that’s being completed. Make notes in your journal along the way, so you can discuss issues the next day with the contractor.

6) Pay Only For Completed Work. Your contract should establish a series of payments to be made along the course of your remodel, but be sure you’re only paying for work that’s already been completed. And never put down more than 10 percent up front, in order to protect yourself.