How to Choose a Home Remodeling Contractor
Remodeling your home is one of the greatest projects that you will ever undertake. However, the success of this depends on choosing the right remodeling contractor. You should understand that the person your hire will tear down walls in your home and spend your money too. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that you get someone whom you trust with such kind of project.
There’s a possibility that you’ve heard dreadful stories of homeowners who hired remodeling contractors, and they ended up messing them—a big time. Following these tips when choosing a remodeling contractor will make sure that you are not one of these homeowners.
Ask for recommendations
One of the best ways of getting the best home remodeling contractor is by creating a list of around 15 local contractors with the right experience in home remodeling. Then, you can narrow down that list to the best contenders, and then select your preferred contractor from the list. Therefore, make sure that identify more contractors than you require at this stage.
The following tips will assist you to compile this list:
- Ask for recommendations from your friends or relatives, particularly those who’ve had recent home renovations.
- Ask for local recommendations from your social media friends and followers
- Search online for home remodeling contractors in your area
- Check online reviews
It’s important to understand that reputable home remodeling contractors should make it easy for prospective customers to reach them. Moreover, they should have examples of home renovations projects that they have done for you to review. Therefore, you should be cautious of home renovation contractors without basic information, like contacts, a website, reviews, and social media presence.
Ask for quotations from multiple contractors
Now, once you get recommendations and narrow down your list, it’s time to contact your preferred contractors. It’s always a good idea to get several quotations on your home remodeling project. Even when you like the first proposal that you get, don’t stop there—you’ll not know whether the bid that you got will give you a good value for your money.
Typically, home renovation contractors have different rates—thanks to their different specialties. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get several quotations for your project. Also, conduct phone interviews for your preferred contractor if you can. You can go ahead and enquire whether they’ve worked on projects similar to yours. Moreover, check whether they are available to handle your project.
Besides, you need to ask more about the permits needed for the area where you live, as it will assist you in determining if the contractor has the necessary certification. Sourcing this information for various contractors can assist in revealing a contractor who isn’t honest about the permits that you need to obtain before you can start your project.
Business management and experience
Now, there are several questions that you need to ask the remodeling contractor at this stage. Some of these questions include:
- Does the contractor have a permanent address, personal phone number, email address, and mailing address? For how long have they maintained this information?
- Is the contractor insured? Make sure that you ask for the remodeling contractor’s insurance certificate. You can even go ahead to verify whether the certificate is genuine. Moreover, enquire from the remodeling contractor the value that the remodeling project will add to your home. This will assist in getting the right insurance cover for your home after the remodeling project.
- Does the remodeling contractor has an established presence in your area? How long has the company been in operation under the current name? Has the remodeling contractor been able to maintain a good relationship with other service providers like electricians and plumbers, and can they work as a team?
- Does the remodeling contractor possess a good track record in the previous home remodeling projects? How’s their reputation among their peers and clients?
- Lastly, does the contractor possess any professional certifications in the home remodeling industry? Are they a member of any trade organization, and if so, for how long have they been a member?
Don’t consider shortlisting any contractor who doesn’t have the right certifications and credentials. Moreover, you need to be wary of contractors who are hesitant or those who take long to provide this information.
Check the references
Once you narrow down your list to the top contenders, start checking their references. You don’t have to worry about this since it’s a common practice that should allow you to get the best remodeling contractor. Therefore, any reputable remodeling contractor should provide you with a list of references when asked.
A standard reference list should have at least ten home remodeling projects, with the name, contact information, and physical address of each client. Don’t forget to ask the contractor to include the dates for each project when submitting the reference list.
When you get the references, it’s time to contact each reference. If you get a long list, choose a few projects—this should be a mixture of old and new home remodeling projects. Make sure that you keep detailed notes when you call each customer. Don’t be afraid to ask the references whether it’s ok to visit their home and assess the project.
Here are some questions that you can the references when you contact them:
- Did the contractor keep the project deadline?
- Did they keep the site neat?
- Was the project cost clear and reasonable?
- Did the contractor keep time for workdays and appointments?
- Did they address problems promptly?
- How do you gauge their overall performance?
You should be cautious of remodeling contractors who provide few references, or one with substantial time gaps in their references. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor to give clarifications if in question about their references. A gap in their calendar shouldn’t be an automatic red flag—may be the contractor has taken some time off or was injured. If the contractor is open and willing to provide you with more information, consider them to be trustworthy.
Ask for well-defined proposals
By now, you should have found several remodeling contractors whom you like. Ask them to give you well-defined bids for the entire project. It’s important that you have a conversation with every prospective contractor and give them your well-defined plans. If possible, show them your blueprints, and also show them your willingness to spend. When you do that, ask them for a complete quote.
Also, ask every contractor to give you details about the cost of the entire project—this should include materials, labor, and any other related expenses. This will assist you to compare the different quotes that you receive. According to the experts in the house remodeling industry, 40% of the entire cost should go to materials, the other 40% to labor and related expenses, and the remaining 20% should be the profit margin.
When you get a proposal that you like, it’s time to start the negotiations. You should make sure that you have a detailed contract, which you are comfortable with before the remodeling project begins. Remember, clear and effective communication with your remodeling contractor is important to a successful project.
It’s important to understand that there are a lot of things that you need to work on before hiring the experts from AFS General Contracting. Besides, you should note that your home remodeling project is an important investment. This project cannot only make staying in your home more comfortable and enjoyable, but it can also add significant value to your home. Therefore, you need to find a qualified contractor, who will make your home remodeling dreams come true.