Sometimes, the most challenging part of a home remodel is not gathering the funds for it but finding a suitable contractor. The choice you make in this regard can turn out to be the crucial one. If you make the right decision, your remodeling project will go smoothly all the way to completion. On the other hand, if you hire the wrong person for the job, you might end up with more problems than necessary.
To pick the best option available, you should know what you want, get recommendations, invite possible contractors for face-to-face interviews, check references, and many more. If you wish to know what steps you should take to avoid getting a headache, read on.
Make a List of What You Want
The first step to finding the right contractor is deciding what you want. Determine your budget, find out which areas of your home need improvement, and set realistic goals to make your remodel project a success. If you are not sure about the changes you want to make, then it is advisable to visit some remodeling showrooms in your area and see which features you like best.
Some of the more common remodeling projects include:
- Adding an extension to a home
- Bathroom remodel
- Kitchen remodel
- Basement remodel
- Garage conversion
- Building a swimming pool
Include everything that is on your mind on the list and show it to every potential contractor. This way, you will quickly establish who will be the best choice for the job.
Additionally, if you would like to do some other remodeling project outside your home (for example, exchange your warehouse garage door), put it on the list as well. Sometimes, you will find the contractor willing to take care of both your remodeling projects.
Gather Recommendations From Friends and Family
After you have figured out what you want, the next thing to do is ask for recommendations. The most convenient way to get them is by asking your friends and relatives who have recently remodeled their homes. If you have no one to ask, consider visiting an online consumer review site, such as Angi.
On the other hand, if you know someone who has recently completed a remodeling project, ask them for a recommendation. They probably know a few companies they could vouch for based on their personal experience. Additionally, if they weren’t happy with the job some contractor has done, they might provide you with helpful information on what not to do when working with contractors.
Invite Potential Contractors for Face-to-Face Meetings
After getting recommendations, now comes the time to contact the contractors. One of the best things you can do is invite them for a series of one-on-one meetings.
Meeting the contractors in person and talking about what you expect from your home remodeling project is a crucial step on the road to a successful home remodel. Ask them how long they are in business and if they have worked on projects similar to yours before.
Once you have selected several potential contractors, you should interview them again to make a fair comparison between them. Here are some questions you can consider asking them:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many projects similar to mine have you completed?
- What is your expertise? (i.e., bathrooms, kitchens, basements, etc.)
- Do you offer excellent client service? How? (i.e., weekly updates, flexible payment plans, etc.)
- What makes your company stand out from the competition? (i.e., better customer service, lower prices, etc.)
Check References and Past Work Samples
Once you have interviewed your potential contractors, it is time to check their references and past work samples. If they have already worked on home improvement projects similar to yours, ask them for references and contact these people to see how satisfied they are with the result of the project.
You can also check out their past work samples online or ask for pictures of some of their previous projects to get a better idea of their artistry and the quality of service they offer. This way, you will know what you can expect from them.
Check the Contractor’s License
You might think that this is a given, but don’t underestimate the importance of verifying if a contractor has a valid license from your state. A contractor who doesn’t have one is likely to be untrustworthy or unprofessional in some way. If they don’t have a license, you are better off not hiring them at all.
Check If the Contractor Is Insured
The last thing you want is for your home or belongings to get damaged during a home remodeling project. To avoid paying out of pocket for any damages, ask the contractor if they are insured against damage and loss of materials. Insurance will cover the costs in case of an accident, so you don’t have to pay them yourself.
Double-Check the Quote Before Signing the Contract
Don’t forget to double-check the quote and ensure that everything is accurate and that you haven’t forgotten about something during negotiations with the contractor. The last thing you want is for the project to take longer than agreed upon because the contractor didn’t include something in the initial quote or a misunderstanding occurred during negotiations.
Hire the Contractor
Once you are satisfied with your potential contractor, sign a contract with them. Set up regular meetings with them to go over the project’s progress and ask them to provide weekly updates about it. This way, you can keep track of what is being done and how the contractor is doing it. Keep in mind that you should never pay the total amount until the project is complete and you are satisfied with the result.
A home remodeling project can improve the look of your home and make it more comfortable to live in. If you want to enjoy the results of such a project, be sure to follow the tips we mentioned when choosing a contractor for the job.
Make sure that the contractor you want to work with has a good reputation and is insured. Besides, do not be afraid to ask if the contractor has a valid license, as doing this can prevent you from hiring someone unqualified for the task at hand.
If you take some time to do the research, get recommendations, and conduct interviews with the best contractors, you should have no problems transforming your property into a masterpiece. Good luck!