Remodel Your Boston Condo the Smart Way
Don’t Let These Common Challenges Put Your Condo Remodel at Risk
Whether you’re remodeling your Boston condo to make necessary updates or just want to give the space a fresh new look, knowing the common challenges to avoid will make the process far easier.
Boston presents unique challenges for construction project logistics that, when coupled with other common remodel challenges, can introduce unwelcome surprises to your project. These pitfalls can be easily avoided, however, with the appropriate awareness and preparation.
4 Challenges to be Aware of When Remodeling Your Condo in Boston
If you’ve created a short list of contractors in Boston for your condo remodel, the next step is verifying they’re the right person for the job. The construction industry has been experiencing a skilled labor shortage since 2011 when home construction bottomed out, and as recently as the fourth quarter of 2017, the Commercial Construction Index found that 92% of contractors have continued concerns about the level of skilled labor in the workforce.
Take a few extra steps in vetting your Boston contractor to ensure they’re adequately staffed with the proper resources for your project. Ask for testimonials from other customers or visit service review sites like Angie’s List or Houzz–don’t just rely on the contractor’s website for this information.
Assuming you’ve nailed down your specific remodel plans, have a budget in mind and have solicited bids from Boston condo remodeling contractors, the question becomes: how do you decide which bid to accept?
- The Boston Globe spoke with contractors in 2016 about average costs for common remodels like kitchens and bathrooms. Depending on your project, you should know the “market price” in Boston for this type of work.
- Online services like Angie’s List let you see reviews of projects like yours in the Boston area. Check to see what other homeowners paid and which Boston condo remodeling contractors they used.
Condo remodeling contractors in Boston face no shortage of work; therefore, they have no need to provide you with a discount. Be informed about what you should be spending for your project and the quality of work you’ll be getting for your money.
If your condo’s location routinely presents a parking challenge for your house guests, a condo remodeling contractor will have the same issue. These types of projects can necessitate upward of 100 workers to descend on densely-populated areas of Boston rife with parking constraints. While your contractor is surely well-aware of this challenge, it’s incumbent upon you to work out potential snags before they arrive. Some easy steps to take include:
- Communicating with your neighbors to let them know of the work and address any specific concerns. Taking the community’s feelings into consideration goes a long way in fostering neighborly relations!
- Obtaining proper parking permitting from the city to avoid any conflicts with parking enforcement officials. Boston offers a Street Occupancy Permit that allows you to restrict a portion of your street or sidewalk for a certain amount of time. You must be prepared to answer questions about dumpsters, staging and fencing, length and size of trucks and any storage containers, so be sure to review the permitting requirements and discuss with your contractor before heading to city hall.
When your home becomes a job site, certain safety hazards can present real risks. City construction work is far more hazardous than suburban work, especially given the older age of many Boston condos. Falls, building collapse, or more general injuries can happen, and safety record should play a role in your bid and hiring process. Boston contractors don’t want a reputation for being unsafe any more than you want to hire a dangerous contractor. Make sure you hire an OSHA-certified contractor and make sure they include their safety record as part of the initial conversation.
Doing your homework to address the common challenges of hiring a contractor for your condo remodel in Boston means you can take a step back and enjoy peace of mind once the work begins. That’s a win-win for everyone!