Post details: Finding the Help You Need


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Finding the Help You Need

A renovation is only as good as the professionals who do the work. Here's how to assemble the right team for your job.

Finding the HelpWho's Who

Your first step is to decide which trades belong on your remodeling team. Complex jobs -- those that involve more than one room or that entail moving walls or building new space -- may benefit from the participation of several professionals. You'll certainly want to consider an architect-contractor duo or a design-build company for a big job. You might also bring in a kitchen or bath designer or interior designer. On the other hand, a designer or designer-builder may be your single source for a simple job.

Here's what you can expect from design and construction pros.

An architect will develop a design, refer you to contractors, help you select a contractor, and oversee the construction to make sure the plans are followed. On large jobs, the architect's fee usually is a percentage of the construction cost. On smaller jobs, the architect may charge an hourly fee. Some architects will work on a consulting basis -- creating finished plans from your sketches or shepherding plans through the engineering and approval process.

Once you have an architectural plan, the contractor makes it happen. The contractor reviews the drawings and specifications, providing a cost estimate to you and your architect. Then, the contractor's crews -- or subcontractors he or she selects and supervises -- tear out old components, move and upgrade the plumbing and electrical systems as necessary, and complete the new construction.

On most jobs, contractors charge a fixed price; changes are estimated and billed along the way. If you want more flexibility to design as you go, time-and-materials payment (a running tab of labor and materials charges) is an option.

Better Homes and Gardens



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