Tips To Find A Remodeling Contractor You’ll Love
Think, think, think. Before a major project such as redoing a kitchen, get clear about what you (and your partner, if you’re coupled) want. Consider questions like “small kitchen remodel or a complete overhaul?”, “top-of-the-line quartz countertops or easy-on-the-wallet laminate?”, and so on. Besides brainstorming ideas for the kitchen of your dreams, take into account your budget and your timeline. This will allow you to present your contractor with a reasonably organized plan.
Do your homework. Shop around to find out prices and ratings for both typical labor costs and item(s) you’re going to have installed, whether it be plumbing fixtures, flooring, or a new HVAC system. Save remodel inspirations you particularly like to a Pinterest board. Once again, you’ll be preparing yourself to discuss your wants with the contractor you eventually hire
Read contractor reviews. Look for remodeling contractors whose customers have (mostly) glowing reports. When the occasional problem is mentioned, check out how it was dealt with. An unresolved issue – or even worse, one that degenerated into a bout of online name-calling — is an obvious red flag.
Keep it legal. Protect yourself; negotiate only with remodelers who provide proof that they are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. To double check whether a contractor’s license is valid, do a quick search of your state government’s website listings
Get more than one estimate. Request multiple estimates so you can choose the remodeler with the best deal – not necessarily the lowest price, but the one that will give you the most for your money. Make sure important information such as brand names and model numbers of any materials and appliances is included
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A REMODELING CONTRACTOR
Word of mouth is the best way to find a trustworthy contractor. If you know someone who has had a good experience with one, start there. Another good source to research a contractor is Angie’s List. Does the company you’re considering hiring have negative reviews – and if so, are they valid? (There are times when a homeowner will give a company a bad review without even hiring them.) How many “A” level reviews does the company have? Has the company received the Angie’s List Super Service Award?
Look at Credentials
Once you have your recommendations, start checking them out. Visit their website or make a phone call. Make sure they have all appropriate licenses and insurance certificates as well as any designations from professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association
Contact former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. Better yet, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? Remember that when you’re hiring a remodeler, you’re buying a service and not a product. Quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project. It’s a good idea to even check with your local Better Business Bureau. If you can’t find any information on them with the BBB then they are most likely complaint free.
Once you have your list of candidates narrowed down, you can and should start the interview process.
Ask the remodeler how much the project will add to the home’s value and attain additional insurance from your provider
Tips for Choosing a Remodeling Contractor
Take the time to interview each candidate. This one’s a given. Just as you’d carefully interview a babysitter for your kids or a personal assistant for your business, you should take the time to discuss your prospective contractor’s experience, work philosophy, and vision. In the initial interview, you should ask your contractor to provide you with a portfolio and list of previous clients and projects.
Examine portfolios closely. Your contractor’s portfolio should have plenty of examples of projects in your area that are similar to your own. A contractor with experience in your type of home improvement project will be able to mastermind a remodel that accommodates your needs, complies with local building codes, and anticipate any complications that might arise
Call up references and visit projects in person. While reviewing their resume is a good way to get an initial idea of your prospective contractor’s work and areas of expertise, the only way to truly get a feel for their craftsmanship and skill level is to visit their project in person. Ask your contractor to provide at least three verifiable references to past clients with projects similar to yours. Contact these references, and ask if you can do a walk-through of the remodeled area.
Ask about permitting. Whether you are installing outlets, knocking down a wall, or remodeling a bathroom, the vast majority of home improvement projects will require a permit. Your contractor should take care of the process of obtaining a permit for you, from drawing up permit-ready plans to submitting the necessary documents. Beware of contractors who try to convince you that you don’t need a permit—this is often a red flag that he or she is trying to cut corners.
Ask about staffing. If your project requires any specialty work, such as plumbing, electricity, or structural engineering, you should ask your contractor who will be in charge of these jobs, whether they are staff specialist or hired subcontractors. It is important that specialty jobs are handled by experienced professionals if you want to ensure they will be done right. For example, electrical work should be installed by a licensed electrician—not a carpenter or plumber. Your contractor should also have a foreman on-site who supervises the project and is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns
HOME REMODELING COMPANIES- TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE
Finding reputable home remodeling companies an integral part of a home remodeling project and requires a plan. After the plan, a budget is assessed and then, finding a contractor to carry out your ideas begins. When in the market for a contractor, following these tips is a great way to find good home remodeling companies
Home Remodeling Companies to Suit Your Needs
This means not signing up with the first contractor you speak with, let them earn the job with fair estimates and a desire to give you the valued home improvement project you deserve. Talk materials, time frames and get a feel of whom you want to work with and note any expertise offered. Former customers and license qualifications are important. Every state has boards that govern contractors. Make sure your hired home remodeling firm is registered with the state licensing board.
Estimates are important in home remodeling and working with a contractor that cannot estimate cost properly can cost a fortune. The measurements of flooring plumbing and structural renovations are costly and can wreck your budget, leaving your home in shambles if you are unable to meet necessary unexpected expenditures. Working with incompetent or irresponsible home remodeling companies is unacceptable on any scale.
Visit jobsites of home remodeling companies and see for yourself how builders operate. Interaction with workers and the ability to manage a well- organized site goes a long way in evaluating the contractor and his job. Note the work environment and care for property. Working with reputable, reliable home remodeling companies is important to the care of your property and the completion of the job.
Hiring a Qualified Contractor
Find a Good Contractor for Large Remodels
Finding a reputable contractor is important when planning any home improvement project, but when dealing with major remodels like room additions, complete renovations of older properties, or basement remodels, those who find a good contractor are likely to get better results and avoid many of the hassles that come with these jobs, too
Finding a Reputable Contractor for Smaller Projects
The quest to find a good contractor is a little easier for smaller projects. Not only will these projects be easier to handle for a greater number of companies (increasing your chances of getting someone capable), the shorter length of small projects means that anyone you hire will have to work pretty quickly to leave you disappointed. Just because finding a reputable contractor is not as difficult with smaller projects doesn’t mean that you should be any less picky with your home improvement dollar!
How to Tell If a Contractor Is Trustworthy
Once you’ve found a few prospective companies, start your research with an introductory call each, asking a series of preliminary questions about work history
In most cases, the responses you get to these three questions will give you a very good idea of which of the contractors you contacted will be the best fit, but the following questions will typically make for a good tie-breaker if you find that you have more than one forerunner
Any good contractor will be happy to answer any one of these questions, and most will appreciate dealing with a client that takes such an active interest in finding quality service. Any contractor that gives you a hard time answering a few questions, on the other hand, is probably not someone you want to trust in your home or with your hard-earned money. Remember: always consider your instincts. If your gut tells you something doesn’t mesh with the contractor, you’re probably right