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Dear Storage Seeker:

Just last week, my husband and I decided to begin getting some quotes to remodel our bathroom. We were quite concerned about the process, having had a pushy saleswoman experience when we were looking to update our windows (3 hour presentation… $17k price tag… aggressive sales pitch – it was traumatic to say the least). Needless to say we were hopeful this experience would be, well – different. Quite frankly, it was not!

After learning about why their company and product were superior to everything else on the market, we were essentially given an ultimatum: sign on the dotted line now, or lose this impeccable 30% percent discount… The more we passed, the more the price fell – making us incredibly uncomfortable with the process as a whole. We politely declined (and declined, and declined, and declined again)… and showed him the door as we looked at each other in disgust and shock. With additional renovations in our future, what are we to do? Please help.


Dear Susan,

Unfortunately, you’ve been meeting with some pushy sales folk that likely are just trying to meet a quota. If you’re ready to tackle your bathroom, windows, kitchen – heck, the whole sha-bang, here are 3 tips to make your renovation a success:

1.) Develop a budget and a detailed project plan, and be committed to sticking to it. That means, if the project has to wait until the funds are available, it waits.

Determine what exactly you want to tackle (and why), and what items are negotiable. This way, when meeting with contractors, you do not feel pressured into making decisions or “adding-on” unless you want to. When completing this process, be sure to add a minimum of 20% of your overall budget aside as a contingency for the unexpected (a busted pipe, faulty wiring, etc.). Plus, you can save a few bucks by tackling painting, landscaping, and minor touch ups and improvements yourself, stretching your budget even further.

2.) Find a reputable contractor, NOT a pushy salesman. If you feel pressure to commit the day of, or the price keeps changing, walk away and don’t look back.

Sorting through individual, verified reviews online is a great way to find a contractor, but the  BEST way is by obtaining referrals from friends and family. Remember that going with the lowest bid isn’t always the best idea. Choose a contractor that provides a fair price and service combination along with having an excellent reputation. This can make or break your project. And remember: if the price keeps dropping, consider it a huge red flag, since you were never really given a fair price to begin with. A reputable contractor will provide you with a detailed quote and allow you to take your time – not push you to sign on the dotted line.

3.) Before you begin renovating, remove your belongings from your home to provide your contractor with more room to work (and prevent items from becoming damaged or walking away).

With a major home renovation, moving items from one room to the next is not a viable option. Instead, consider renting a self storage unit nearby to help increase your work space and keep your items damage-free. This is especially important if you are preparing your home to sell, since you can store your boxes off-site, making your home appear more spacious to potential buyers walking through.

One item to note is that during a renovation, countless individuals will be walking through your home – with some making their way out with your belongings. While occurrences like these are typically covered under your homeowners insurance policy or the contractor’s, you can prevent theft altogether by keeping items offsite in a local storage unit. With 24/7 security, complex entry systems, and climate-control, you can rest assured that your items will be safe.

By planning extensively, finding a reputable contractor, and utilizing self-storage, you can make your renovation a positive one!

Happy renovating!