Making the decision to do a home remodel can be exciting, but choosing the right contractor for your project can be daunting. You want to have complete confidence with the team that will be helping you fulfill your remodeling dreams and reassurance that they can work within your budget. These five simple tips could be the difference between an exciting and easy remodel and a stress induced nightmare.
- Ask for Referrals
Your starting point for anything is asking a friend, co-worker, neighbor, etc. for their advice or referral, right? Word of mouth is a powerful tool in finding a qualified professional to complete your home remodel. Ask your friends and co-workers who they have worked with for their home projects and ask what made it a positive experience, how communication with the contractor was, and if they would use the same contractor for a future project.
- Check Previous Projects
Once you have narrowed down a few potential contractors, it is time to check their previous work. You want to make sure that what they have done in the past is similar to the style you are looking at doing with your remodel. You can also request to speak with former customers and ask what their experience with the contractor was like. Were they easy to communicate with, completed the project on time, and stayed on budget?
- Look at Credentials
Your next step would be to find out whether the contractor hold all of the required licenses from state and local municipalities, along with designations from any professional associations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Kitchen & Bath Association. You want confidence in your contractor and knowing that they invested time in completing certifications and other requirements will bring that confidence.
- Set Up Meetings
Interviewing your potential contractor can solidify whether or not you were meant to work with them and their team. Be sure that you have all of your questions lined up so that none of your concerns or needs are overlooked. Here a some of the major questions to keep in mind while interviewing contractors:
- Budget: Will they be able to work within your set budget? Do they have a payment plan set up for clients? Are there any underlying fees? How will they handle going over budget?
- Timeliness: How long will your specific project last? How do they keep to a timeline?
- Style options: Do they only allow specific tile, cabinets, backsplash, etc. or are you able to bring in your own samples to work with? If you are limited in your options, you may want to work with the contractor to see if they can be flexible in that area of your remodel.
- Get It in Writing
After you have selected your contractor, be sure to check the documents that are given. Be sure to scrutinize the contract. Be sure that they are able to explain any gray areas, if you find any, and there are no hidden clauses. Be sure that the contract has all of the following:
- A price and payment schedule
- The site plan
- A schedule for construction and specifics about the work
- A change-order clause
- A written procedure for close-out
- A clause about dispute resolution
- A waiver of lien, this prevents subcontractor and suppliers from putting a lien on a house should their invoices go unpaid by the contractor.
By following these tips, finding a contractor who can complete your dream home remodel should be stress free.