Deciding to remodel your home is a big deal and you should not take hiring your contractor lightly. Whether you are just doing the kitchen or an overhaul of the entire house, you want someone who will act professionally, is experienced, and will have the expertise and equipment needed to complete your renovations. When choosing your team, use our checklist to make sure have the best possible experience.
Do Your Research
Keep in mind, the contractor you hire will likely be in your home for months. To start narrowing down prospects, do a quick search of your local area. From the results, you can put together a list of contractors to research further. You want to find a company that has a good reputation and provides satisfying outcomes. For starters, check:
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
The information you gather from these resources will help you separate the highly recommended from the inexperienced and untrustworthy.
Look at Their Past Work
As with anything, their past is a good indicator of their present, within reason of course. Taking a look at their social media accounts is a good way to get an idea for the quality of their work. Usually, they will have plenty of photos from previous projects if they are proud of their work. Look for albums of projects that have the same focus as yours. It’s great to know they do beautiful work in general but you really want a preview of what your kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation might end up looking like.
You could even contact the company directly and ask them for a list of references from previous clients. Speaking with them can provide insight into if the remodeling team was professional and respectful in their home, if they were satisfied with the outcome of their project, and if anything stood out to them about the contractor, good or bad.
Verify Credentials & Insurance
Since remodeling can be dangerous and is accompanied by a lot of liability you will want to make sure the company has all their bases covered. You should never employ a contractor who does not have the right coverage.
Ask for a copy of their liability insurance and performance bond so you can rest assured you are protected in cases like injuries or property damage. Their certificate of insurance should have the name of the insurance company, policy number, and policy limits.
They should also have all their licenses, which should also be up-to-date, and be in good standing with the appropriate authorities for their industry.
Get a Few Estimates
Once you’ve narrowed down the professionals from the scammers, get an estimate from each of the companies on your list. You want at least three or four so you have options. Your estimate should be a complete summary of the project and its expenses. Make sure you give them a thorough review considering a variety of factors as you go, such as:
- Building materials
- Work methods
- Labor costs
You may also want to inquire about the types of equipment they use, including the best HVAC tools, so you can be confident that they are performing all aspects of your remodel to the highest standards.
Be sure to carefully read their guarantee of work to see if they are assuring your satisfaction and quality customer service. This is a good indicator that a company has integrity and knows what they are doing.
Have a Conversation
While it might seem oversimplified, sometimes having a conversation is the best way to feel out a situation. Speaking with the owner or lead contractor on the team directly can help you determine whether their team is right for you. In some cases, it might just come down to a matter of personal preference.
However, you might find out that your communication styles do not work well together which could make your project much more complicated. You might also click right away and be excited to work with them because they are passionate about what they do. Either way, it can only work toward your advantage to speak with them one-on-one.
Do not let yourself become another contracting horror story. Putting in your due diligence when hiring the right team to help you with your remodel is all about providing you with peace of mind so you can enjoy the process.