Finding a reputable contractor can be an arduous process. But it doesn’t have to be. Home renovations are very exciting for most homeowners.
However, you need to be careful if you choose the wrong contractor. This article should lead you in the right direction to selecting the right home renovation company.
Contractors should be trustworthy, reliable; they should provide accurate and timely work estimates; and most importantly, they should do a good job. If they do not live up to this criteria, then it is best to find someone else who will.
You can look online or consult experienced professionals such as: doctors, lawyers and plumbers. You can also ask friends and neighbors for a recommendation, or search online for home renovation companies near you.
Below, you will find some helpful tips on how to choose the best company for your project and get started with a home renovation:
1) Choose a Local Company – Your job won’t stop at just renovating your home; you will also have to deal with the logistics of actually moving into it.
Which means that hiring someone who is local guarantees that work will continue without interruption even if travel becomes necessary (i.e. if you have to move out of your home so that it can be remodeled).
2) Interview the Contractor – Asking questions is an important part of choosing a contractor. You want to make sure that you hire someone who is both reliable and responsible. But you also want to make sure that the contractor will complete your job on time and within budget. Ask about how long they have been doing renovations.
Most great companies have references you can check out for yourself. (Also, make sure you ask about the ownership of the company because sometimes it’s a great idea to investigate a company before hiring them as well.)
3) Check Their References – Companies should be transparent about who their references are and what they think of them. If you can see exactly how many jobs they have completed in the past and how many hours each project took, that’s a good sign.
Most competent contractors will also have a link to an online portfolio of past work.
4) Look at the Contract – Make sure to read over the contract and make sure that you are comfortable with it. Your contract should outline what is included in your project, price, method of payment and payment schedule, how work is scheduled (for example do they start first or do you), etc.
Also remember that the contract should protect you, so make sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your contractor before signing anything.
5) Check Their References Again – It is always a good idea to check the references of a contractor, even if you have checked their references before. A lot can change in two months, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
6) Ask For References – One of the ways to find out what kind of work others have had done is to ask for references. If a contractor has completed any renovations in the past, they should be willing to provide a reference.
7) Use a Real Estate Agent – If you are buying a home, don’t hire a general contractor on your own. It’s far too important of an investment and you want the very best in the field.
Remember that this process does not end once you hire a company. As with any contractor, you want to stay involved in the planning/construction process. The best way to do this is by keeping communication open and honest throughout your project. The more involved you are, the less likely you are to be surprised with an unexpected and expensive problem.
You should also set up a meeting between yourself and your contractor before work begins so that you can discuss the scope of your project. Knowing how long you will need to be away from your home, receiving a detailed bid and discussing payment schedule will help make sure that everything is done appropriately.