Finding a Home Remodeling Contractor
It can be fun and exciting to take on a home remodeling project, but at the same time, it can be stressful too. You’re basically entrusting your home to people you don’t personally know. You want the renovations to be done fast and within budget, and at the same time, thoroughly and properly. You don’t want to see anything malfunctioning or falling apart in a matter of months.
Hence, it is very important to choose the right home remodeling contractor, and the following are points you have to consider before making that decision:
First of all, you have to search for prospects. Ask people around you – family, friends, coworkers, etc. – if they have worked with a remodeling contractor worth recommending to you. Look for prospects on the Internet, and make it a point to read reviews (stick to reputable third-party consumer websites).
With at least two or three good prospects, you’re ready to call them each and set an appointment. If they refuse, that’s a big red flag. Reputable contractors are aware of the importance of this step, and only scammers will want to skip it.
During this interview, make sure to ask them about their experience. You’d like to go with someone who’s been around for at least five years. The idea is to choose a contractor that has demonstrated stability. Surely, you have to ask them if they have liability as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Dealing with an uninsured contractor is a risk you don’t want to take.
Before you decide that a contractor is right for you, have a chat with some of their previous clients. If they hesitate even a bit, that’s another unmistakable red flag. Good contractors will even be enthusiastic about having you receive feedback about them. Talking to references is a great way of getting an idea of what lies ahead for you and the contractor based on other people’s experiences.
Bid or Estimate
Because they know they have some tough competition going, good contractors will always put in a competitive estimate. Make sure it includes the total cost of the project and the individual costs of labor and materials.
Finally, don’t proceed with the project until you are given a written contract. This document should be complete with all the details, such as the name of the company, their physical address and contact details, the start and end dates of the project, an itemized presentation of the costs and a waiver of lien, among others. If you’re not very knowledgeable with home remodeling contracts, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a friend or relative who might be.