Thinking about remodeling but don’t know where to begin? When you are ready to take on your home remodeling project, there are a lot of things to consider when looking for the right contractor. Selecting a remodeling contractor isn’t as simple as looking through the Yellow Pages. However, following some simple guidelines can make it easier to find a reputable remodeler for almost any project—while keeping the hair on your head intact.
How to Find a Remodeling Contractor
• Ask friends, family, co-workers, etc. (who have used a remodeling contractor) who they’d recommend.
• Look for remodeling contractor signs in your neighborhood and ask that neighbor about the contractor’s work
• A good source for information is your local National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council and National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) for recommendations
Tip: A design/build contractor will be able to see your project through from start to finish, keeping design, engineering, and budget in mind.
Ask the Right Questions While Interviewing a Remodeling Contractor
• Verify that the contractor is both licensed and insured (workers compensation and liability) and request to see certificates of proof
• Ask how many years the contractor has been in business (longevity usually suggests financial stability)
• Ask how many projects like yours the contractor has done and ask to see before and after pictures
• Find out if someone will be available after-hours in case of an emergency on the project
• Ask for names and phone numbers of the contractor’s current and former customers and ask to talk to these people in their homes so you can see the contractor’s work firsthand
Working with your Remodeling Contractor:
• Request a written proposal- get the proposal in writing to ensure it reflects your wishes.
• Agree on a well-written contract that covers all the bases- things such as project timetable, payment schedule, insurance information, permit information, and lien release should all be included in the contract.
• Establish good two-way communication with the home remodeler- it is essential to have open communication for a smooth remodel.
• Set a clear and mutual understanding about the schedule.
• Create a clear and mutual understanding of how change orders will be handled – it is important to understand that changes can affect the schedule and budget. Make sure to get all changes in writing.
• Remember to be flexible during the project so you can handle the unexpected and go with the flow!