Simplifying the Process: Terms to Know and What to Look For

April 15th, 2023 villagerestoration

A home renovation starts with an idea. Usually, a way to make your home more valuable, beautiful, and/or functional. Once you gather your ideas, finances, and nerves, you call the homebuilder who comes out, looks at your home, and shares knowledge, experience, and professional opinions with you.

A good homebuilder will provide you with a realistic and thorough proposal. Little did you know, you are about to encounter terms you have likely not heard before. Here’s your very own cheat sheet!

Scope of Work

This is outlined in your contract. This should be very specific and lays out exactly what is being done during your project. When you sit down and review the proposal with your contractor, do not assume something is implied. Make sure it is spelled out in your contract. Most importantly, always ask for clarification if you are unsure of something before proceeding!


A dollar amount specified in your contract for anything that may vary based on the ever-changing market or your personal taste. For example, you may receive a tile allowance for the floors of your bathroom. The amount shown should guide your selections. A good homebuilder will give you a realistic allowance based on other homes similar to yours so you aren’t faced with a change order later. Speaking of which…

Change Order

This is any change to your original contract. This can be a change in verbiage, something added or removed from the original scope of work, and pricing changes associated with such changes.

Subcontractor (Sub)

This is someone hired by your builder with a specialized skillset. Examples of subcontractors may include plumbers and electricians who carry their own insurances and are licensed experts in their fields. A good homebuilder will have strong, established relationships with quality subcontractors.

Design and Build

A “design and build” firm typically delivers both design and construction services in the same company. They may or may not include an architect. Look for a builder with strong community connections with both architects and designers. An in-house designer can make your construction process more seamless since they have direct access to what’s happening on the construction side of things as well.


A permit is the document required in your town or county for home construction. All areas have different requirements, and your builder should be knowledgeable about what is necessary to permit their work. Along with the permit will, likely, come inspections to make sure work being done is meeting the proper codes.


There is a builder/contractor in your construction office. This person should be licensed and insured. A contractor should be readily available to you to answer questions, knowledgeable about your specific project, and have the ability to think through your project as well as problem solve when needs arise.

Knowing what to expect, the qualities of a good contractor, and some new vocabulary terms will help as you get started with your own building or renovation project. Give us a call today to help you get started!