For most home-based business owners, the toughest part of a home office remodeling project isn’t necessarily the work — it’s finding a capable and qualified contractor to do the job.
Creating storage for inventory, building a safe place to house tools or installing custom-designed office furniture can be part of your dream, but only a competent contractor can make that a reality. Professional sources demonstrate that starting a new business costs an average of about $30,000 -- and that’s assuming that any remodeling project gets done correctly.
We’ve all heard horror stories about inept contractors who tore down a wall (or more) only to never return. Some home renovation projects can wind up costing two, three or even four times more than the original quote.
When searching for the right professional for your home-based business remodel, you want to keep these three things in mind: funding, interviewing and setting ground rules.
#1 -- Interviewing: Take the Time to Find the Right Fit
When you’re looking to hire a professional to help with a home-based business renovation project, it’s important you have a clear vision of your needs, goals and expectations. Without knowing what you want, it will be impossible to collaborate with a contractor on remodeling a space for your home-based business.
Before you hire, be sure to perform your due diligence by:
Comparing quotes and estimates.
Conducting phone interviews.
Talking to former clients.
Obtaining an estimated work start date and project timeframe.
Checking licenses and complaint history.
Reading online reviews (but remember to take these with a grain of salt).
Reviewing any contracts with a lawyer or a friend who is familiar with construction industry best practices.
Verifying contractor insurance.
Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to scheduling payments. It’s an awkward conversation to have if you’re not used to them, but as the owner of a home-based business negotiating terms of payment is probably nothing new to you. However, this can be one of the biggest headaches for renovation projects, so be upfront with your expectations and be transparent about what you’re able to arrange.
#2 -- Setting Ground Rules: Stay on the Same Page
For these types of partnerships to work with ease, make sure to set guidelines with your contractor and his or her employees. Establish the times of day that workers will be in your home, where (and when) they will take breaks, parking instructions, where you will keep your pets during work hours, and what needs to be cleaned up at the end of the work day (especially if you have children).
After you work together to set some ground rules, be sure to get them in writing -- make sure to include all applicable items in your contract. This way everyone has access to and can be reminded of these agreements if one of them falls through the cracks.
#3 -- Funding: All the Ways You Can Pay
Home-based businesses, especially small, women, or minority-owned, have quite a few options for getting cash for a renovation. When looking for funding, you’ll want to consider applying for renovation and expansion loans.
Learn about how to know when you need funding, how much to ask for, the equity vs. debt decision and the primary types of small business financing options. When it comes to types of loans, talk to a lender about:
SBA 504 Loans
Conventional Bank Loans
Lines of Credit
Hard Money Loans
SBA 7(a) Loans
Online Loans or Lines of Credit
Another option is to pay for your remodeling through refinancing your home. A home refinance can free up cash which you can spend on remodeling your home. Keep in mind that refinancing is a better strategy if you’re planning on living in your home for many years.
When the remodeling work is finally finished, that’s where your tax write-offs come in. As long as the renovation is for business and for not personal use, your remodel is 100 percent deductible. You will likely be able to write off every nail, piece of wood, pail of paint -- and even your contractor fees.
From a basement overhaul to an office remake, a home-based business remodel is a great way to get organized, especially if your company is experiencing growth. Regardless of what products you make or services you provide, finding the right renovation professional to take on this project will make a difference -- in your levels of stress and your scale of success!