How Do I Choose A Good Contractor To Remodel My Home?
So, how do you know if a contractor is the right fit for the job — and where should you even start looking? Here are 20 pointers to help you find a contractor for your home remodeling project.
1. Clearly define your home remodeling project
Before you start contacting contractors, you should have a clear idea of how you want to remodel your home. Although this may seem obvious, many homeowners hire contractors and agree on a design only to request changes or additional adjustments after the construction work has begun.
This frequently results in the project going over budget, failing to meet agreed-upon deadlines, or even coming to a halt. Always plan ahead of time so that you don’t have to make changes in the middle of a project.
2. Ask homeowners in your neighborhood
It’s always a good idea to get references from others. You might naturally turn to friends and family, but why not ask a few neighbors as well? Did the family down the street just replace the windows in their house?
If the finished product looks great, ask who did the work and if they are satisfied with the outcome. Drive around your neighborhood and look for homes that have recently been upgraded. Most homeowners are eager to share their thoughts on contractors, especially if they are pleased with the finished product.
3. Look at online reviews
The internet has transformed the way consumers shop for products and services, with 81 percent of people conducting online research before making a purchase. Look online to see what other people are saying about a contractor.
There will be a wide range of opinions from homeowners who are willing to speak up about the quality of the labor, materials, and overall workmanship.
4. Don’t set a minimum (or maximum) number of estimates
One of the first things you’ll hear when looking for a contractor for any type of home improvement project is “get three estimates.” The problem with limiting yourself to three is that you can’t be sure you’re getting a fair representation of the available options.
The better option is to get as many estimates as you need to feel confident that you’re making an informed decision about a contractor. If that happens to be the first person you meet, that’s fantastic! If not, keep looking until you find a highly qualified contractor who feels like a good fit for your project.
5. Busy can be a good sign
A reputable, experienced contractor is likely to be in high demand, which means you may have to wait several weeks, if not months, to get on their schedule. Isn’t it worth waiting for a contractor you trust to do an exceptional job when you’re making such a large investment in your home?
6. Trust your instincts
There’s something to be said for “trusting your instincts.” From the contract drafting and negotiation process to the completion of the work on your home, you and your contractor — and the construction crew — will interact at various points.
Make sure you have a good working relationship with the contractor. If you have a bad feeling from the start, it could be an indication that the project will not be successful.
7. Go with a pro
In recent years, the do-it-yourself industry has grown in popularity, inspiring ordinary people to take on complex projects that are best left to professionals. The issue for the average homeowner is that it’s not always easy to tell the difference between true professionals and people who do weekend jobs on the side.
Inquire about the contractor’s experience and credentials, and don’t be afraid to demand proof. An experienced contractor will anticipate this and will be happy to provide the information you require to feel comfortable entrusting your home to them.
8. Ask how long the contractor has been in business
You don’t have to look far to find horror stories about homeowners who were dissatisfied with a contractor’s work and ended up chasing the contractor through the court system in an attempt to recoup money for an incomplete or unsatisfactory job.
Unfortunately, it’s relatively easy for a small business to shut down when a lawsuit threatens, only to reopen under a new name a few months later. When you work with a contractor who has been in business for several years, if not decades, the likelihood of this happening to you decreases significantly.
9. Review past jobs
Examine the contractor’s previous work. Another area where the internet has provided homeowners with extremely useful tools for researching potential contractors is in this area. The majority of seasoned contractors have a photo gallery of their most recent projects on their websites. The contractor may be able to achieve the same results for your home.
10. Verify insurance, licensing and permits
Your contractor should be able to show you proof that they are licensed to perform home renovation work in your area. It should also have the necessary insurance to cover its workers in the event that someone is injured while working on your property, and it should have all necessary permits from your local government before beginning the job.
Are You Planning a Full Home Remodel?
If you’re considering a whole house remodel, New Key Construction, based in Walnut Creek California, is here to serve you. Our passion is to be the home for talented craftsmen who deliver beautiful projects to clients throughout the SF East Bay Area! Choosing the right general contractor for your project can be difficult, but we make things easy by focusing on Your Experience, Client Communication, Cutting Edge Technology, and Pushing Our Design and Build Limits! If we could have one goal, it would be that when someone you know is looking for a contractor you highly recommend our company because of the experience we deliver for you! Check out our website, our portfolio, and our reviews to learn more – or give us a call today!