When a sump pump failure soaked Shannon Roberts’ already finished basement, she decided to remodel the space for her growing family and quickly realized it was more than she and her husband could handle on their own.
“When I saw the level of detail that would be required to properly and safely finish my basement, since I have little kiddos running around, it was something that was not on my schedule for sure," Roberts said.
When people try to turn their basement into a livable space, they hope they can save money by managing the project on their own, but many different factors can make the job even more difficult. That's where hiring a contractor comes in handy.
“A remodeling job can be complicated because you’re likely going to have a number of jobs that are subcontractors from electrical to plumbing to painting, and coordinating them can be difficult, so hiring a general contractor can take some of that headache away,” Angie Hicks, Angie's List Founder said.
A couple other big mistakes D-I-Y’ers make: failing to pull permits and not following proper building codes.
“We know what to look for and we know when something’s not right, and we know when to make changes to the space," Melissa Guy, remodeling contractor said. "We may discover mold and need to alert the clients to that… different things to look out for that our industry knowledge has trained us to do.”
A contractor knows how to remedy many unforeseen issues, most of which can be avoided with proper planning.
“The forethought in creating a great project is the most important part of the project and you don’t want to rush through that,” added Guy.
Angie's List says to be leery of anyone who says they won’t pull permits or whose bid is significantly lower than the rest. Make sure to get their references, and visit a home where they’ve already completed the work.