WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/460705

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24 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 five Learn their language Just like any profession, contractors have their own language and their own set of buzz words. Ask lots of questions and determine early on if the building materials on your "wish list" are cost prohibitive. Make sure you know exactly what they're talking about so you're not caught by surprise later, like when you pick that gorgeous wallpaper and it ends up being twice the price to hang it because you didn't know about "the repeat." six Don't expect a designer Every contractor has a personal opinion, but they're not always going to know how high to hang a towel rack, where to place a wall switch, or what color to paint the powder room. Look at ads in WellesleyWeston Magazine and other publications as well as design websites for ideas on how you want your finished project to look. Do your research upfront and, if necessary, hire an interior designer to help you with some of the endless decisions you'll need to make, instead of expecting your contractor to be something he's not. seven Stick around If you can't be around when your contractor begins work then be sure to pop in unexpectedly at different times during the day. You want to be sure that your con- tractors are working when they say they're working, and that they're the people you actually hired. Some solo contractors get busy and hire sub-par people. If you're on the property, you can be available for clarification so that the wall that's supposed to stay up stays up. And you'll minimize the risk of theft or damage. eight Expect the unexpected Finally hiring that contractor is really exciting, but there are always surprises. You never know what's hiding behind that wall — it could be asbestos that needs to be removed, or a hidden pantry that someone sealed up years ago. Be realistic and expect things to take longer than you expected and cost more than you hoped. Estimates are estimates — based on years of experience — but they are best guesses, not guarantees. nine Do the legwork If you're on a budget, it's okay to ask where you can save. Some contractors want to stick with their own people or suppliers for everything, but sometimes you can save money by doing demo or prep work yourself or by ordering or picking up materials. Visit the paint store and bring home samples before the wall is painted and you decide you don't like the color. Or visit a few different tile stores, as selection and costs vary greatly. Time is money, so if you can absorb some of your contractor's time, you can often cut costs. ten Make the commitment Depending on the project, it can take a lot of time and effort to keep contractors on track and on budget. You've got to be involved and put the time in to man- age it successfully. Think of your home improvement project as a part-time job. Contracting do-overs are expensive, so you need to be on top of the situation daily. 10 tips ( C O N T I N U E D ) M E D I A B A K E R Y

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