Get as many recommendations as you can on the building contractor you plan to use.
Don’t be shy about calling references that are provided. You absolutely must trust this person as he/she will be in and out of your home for days.
Know what home renovations you want ahead of time. Otherwise, you might find yourself being steered toward spending a lot more money than you ever intended.
Make it known up front that you do not want people smoking in your home otherwise your house could end up smelling like the smoking area of a bar at the end of the work.
Get every little detail of the home renovation in writing from the contractor up front, before you sign on the dotted line. This will save you time, save your credit card, and ultimately make the renovation go a lot more smoothly. Do not make assumptions.
Sometimes the builder can assume that the painting in the quote means all four walls and the ceiling in the same colour, so clarify that up front.
If you don’t like one of the sub-contractors on the job, talk to the head contractor about it. There is no point remaining quiet if you feel the painter/plumber/electrician is not up to the task.
Make sure you have enough paint leftover for touch-ups and document the type of paint used in each room. You may remember the paint colour five years down the road, but you may not remember if you used eggshell, matt, semi-gloss, etc.
Make sure the contractor cleans up the mess every single day. You don’t want all that dust circulating through your home and building up to a big pile at the end of the job!
Be prepared to make a lot of decisions, right down to cabinet handles and knobs. Try to have everything picked out in advance from the kitchen cabinet doors to the bathroom fittings otherwise the contractor will go with the cheapest option.
DO NOT MAKE THE FINAL PAYMENT UNTIL EVERY LAST THING IS COMPLETE. There is no point looking for the plumber or carpenter two weeks later if you find something incomplete or unsatisfactory. If you can have a surveyor, engineer or architect check out all the work before you make the last payment.
In addition, if you are replacing/installing new windows or doors and have a security system, remember to contact your security system provider to have any security components adjusted that may have been affected by the renovation.