I’m in the home stretch here on this renovation and it seems the last weeks take the longest. I have a few items left on the list of to-dos. Once I get that done, I will be ready to list.

Even though numerous delays have happened that have made me miss the summer selling season, this house will still sell quickly. As a real estate agent, I do for myself what I do for my clients. I set up an alert that tells me about the active listings in the market place. There is a similar size home in the same price range that was on the market for 5 days before going under contract. So if you are thining about selling, there are still buyers out there looking to buy.

As I see the light at the end of this renovation tunnel, I reminisce on the struggles with this house. I talked about some of the issues with the house in a previous blog post, but the struggles near the end with the contractor is where I learned the most.

The contractor messed up. He was supposed to give me a soffit and fascia on the front of the house but he just made it match the previous look of the old house. I just thought it was a work in progress and it wasn’t done. I had no idea that was his finished product. It was clearly in the contract and the architects drawings, yet he tried to tell me it was there according to the plans. So I brought my husband into the picture. I know my gender has to do with the way contractors try to get over, but I am tough when I need to be. But my husband is a force to be reckoned with. It was the good cop, bad cop approach. Eventually, we reached a compromise. He would provide a look similar to the house two doors down. Of course, he just said what it took to get the draw and then proceed to not do as we agreed. He also started another job and only had 1-2 people working on my project, which severely delayed my finish day.

Then he requested a partial draw from the what was supposed to be the last draw. I denied it. When I brought up the soffit issue, he wanted to retroactively charge for work that took extra time (even though it was all included in the contract). That’s when I informed him that I would be getting bids to do the work as well as the work left on the house and it would all be paid for from the last draw. The day I had someone else come out to bid on it, it was finally being worked on.

Here are the five things you must do when working on renovation projects.

1. Ensure every little thing is covered in the contract and architect drawings. This is why you need multiple bids so that you can compare them and make sure if one something that the other missing you can add it in.

2. When the contractor slow rolls your project, you have a provision in the contract for you to hire others to do the work where the payment comes from their draw.

3. Build a list of sub-contractors that do great work as your next project may only need a new kitchen and a general contractor may not be needed.

4. Do not pay the last draw until everything is done. Once you pay them, they move on and likely won’t come back..

5. Make sure the contractor pays all the subs. You are still responsible. This one is hard, but try to collect there names and numbers.

One more…I can’t keep it to five

6. Check and double check often to make sure they are doing it to your liking. They don’t like doing it over again. Sometimes things move fast, but you have to show up early and often.

Here is what the house looked like before renovation. Stay tuned for what it looks like now.