Home remodeling can be a long and complex process. To ensure a successful outcome, you want to work with a home remodeling contractor that you can trust to provide honest, skilled work. You want to feel comfortable discussing your design ideas to ensure that the end result reflects your vision. A true professional will also deliver work on time and within budget. He should also keep an open line of communication if problems arise that could extend the estimated timeline. If you want to know how to choose a home remodeling contractor, follow these tips.
1. Ask for Estimates
Prices can vary significantly from contractor to contractor. Even if you are not on a tight budget, you want to get a few estimates to determine what you are likely to spend on the project. Before picking up the phone, create a plan and write down your ideas for the remodel. A contractor cannot provide an accurate estimate unless they know exactly what you want done and what materials you will need to make it happen. If a contractor refuses to provide an estimate after providing full details, move onto the next contractor.
2. Perform Phone Interviews
A quick phone interview can provide you with ample insight about a home remodeling contractor company and if they are the right fit for your project. Start by writing down a list of important questions to ask, such as: Do you have references? How many other projects will you have going on at the same time? How long will it take to complete the project? Listen carefully to the answers to reveal the company’s reliability, availability, and attention to detail. If you are not comfortable with the answers, you may want to choose another contractor for your project.
3. Acquire References and Referrals
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a qualified home remodeling contractor. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances about who they have had positive experiences with. Reputation is everything in the construction industry. If a contractor has numerous bad reviews, you want to steer clear. Choose a home remodeling contractor who is known to perform good work, use quality materials, show up on time, and perform the work within the time and financial estimates. You can also find reviews online or ask for referrals from local businesses, such as hardware stores or suppliers.
4. Check BBB Ratings
In addition to acquiring reviews and referrals, check out the contractor’s rating given by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Most registered businesses are given a rating by the BBB which can help potential customers determine whether or not the business offers honest, quality products or services. Current customers can also share their experiences and subcontractors can post red flags, such as cutting corners on materials or not paying on time. You can easily search the BBB website for complaints online. If you do come across problems, see if or how they were resolved by the company.
5. Research Credentials
Choose a home remodeling contractor that has the necessary credentials to show his professionalism and ability to pass important certifications. Find out if the contractor holds all required licenses from state and local municipalities. Also look at the contractor’s website to see if he holds any special designations from professional associations, such as the National Association of Home Builders, American Institute of Architects, or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. You may also see that the contractor has won awards due to his impeccable work in the industry. These are the types of contractors you want to work with.
6. Do Not Focus on Price
Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing the contractor with the lowest bid. You usually do not want to choose contractors who throw out lowball bids as these contractors are likely cutting corners or may be desperate for work, which is never a good sign. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. While you do not need to go with the highest bid, choose a contractor that offers a fair bid and has other qualities you are looking for in a home remodeling professional.
7. Meet Face-to-Face
It can be hard to distinguish whether or not a contractor is the right man for the job until you meet in person. Some personalities may clash when face-to-face so it is important to determine whether or not there will be problems before starting on a project. Ask questions and make a determination whether or not clear communication will be an issue. Ask about past or current projects with a similar scope to yours to see how he is handling it. If you find that a particular face-to-face meeting goes well, you may choose to continue the relationship.
8. Read the Contract
Before moving on with a project, carefully read through the contract. The contract should list specifics, such as the name of supplies and quantity purchased. It should also include the price of site cleanup and debris removal. You will also want to check that the contractor has liability insurance and that all employees are covered by workman’s compensation. If there is anything on the contract you do not understand or if you want to modify the contract terms, be sure to do so before the project begins. As the customer, you have the right to refuse to sign a contract until you are satisfied with the terms.
One of the most difficult parts of the home remodeling process is choosing the right contractor. Learning how to choose a home remodeling contractor requires basic knowledge of the industry and what to look for in a quality contracting business. Remodeling your home can be a long and costly process so you do not want to rush through it. At Koncept Design + Build, we specialize in full-scale remodeling projects ranging from small porches to oversized kitchens. To learn more about our services or to start your home remodeling project, contact us today to discuss your vision.