Are you looking for Home Remodeling Contractors in Residential Construction? Your best bet is to narrow down to exactly what you are looking to remodel in your home. You should look specifically for Kitchen Remodeling Contractors or Bathroom Remodeling Contractors and not for just a handyman. Here are some tips when selecting an working with a qualified professional contractor.
Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.
Do Phone Interviews
Once you’ve assembled a list, it is recommended that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:
• Do they take on projects of your size?
• Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?
• Can they give you a list of previous clients?
• How many other projects would they have going at the same time?
• How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.
Meet Face to Face
Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease. It’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. On the other hand, don’t let personality fool you. Check in with your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to make sure contractors don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.
Investigate the Facts
Now that you’ve narrowed your list, put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But you shouldn’t rely on results alone. Even more important, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property?
Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide
Throw out the lowball bid. This contractor is probably cutting corners or, worse, desperate for work—hardly an encouraging sign in a healthy economy. Beyond technical competence, comfort should play an equal or greater role in your decision. The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is how well you and he communicate. All things being equal, it’s better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable with.
Put it in Writing
Draw up a contract that details every step of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers. Insisting on a clear contract isn’t about mistrust, it’s about insuring a successful renovation.
Finally, remember that as soon as a change is made or a problem uncovered, the price just increased and the project just got longer. When this happens be sure to get an amendment to the contracted price and scope of work.
Tell us your stories and share any tips on choosing a Great Remodeling Contractor in the comments below.
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