How to Choose a Home Remodeling Contractor: Your Complete Guide
Are you looking to hire a home remodeling contractor? Who should you choose? Check out this guide to learn how to choose a home remodeling contractor.
Did you know that the average homeowner spends $15,000 on home renovation projects?
With the massive amount of money that you spend investing in turning your home into your dream home, finding the perfect home remodeling contractor to help turn your dream home into reality can be challenging.
So, how do you go about choosing the right home remodeling contractor without getting scammed? We’ve come up with a step by step guide to help make the process of narrowing down your selections easier!
Do Phone Interviews
Once you have a list of contractors that you’re interested in working with, make a quick call to each of the contractors. During the phone interview, you should ask the contractors you’re interested in hiring the following questions.
Do you take on the size of projects that you’re looking to have done?
Are they willing to provide financial references, from a bank or suppliers?
Do they have a list of references they’re able to provide you with from previous clients?
How many other projects do they have going on at the same you’re wanting to start your project?
How long have they worked with the subcontractors they use?
The answers that the contractors provide you with will help to show you the contractor’s reliability, availability, and how much attention they’ll be able to dedicate to your project!
Have a Face to Face Meeting
Moving forward with the contractors that you feel passed your phone interview, ask to meet in person.
The contractors that you’re asking to meet in person should be able to answer all of your questions in full detail, with ease. It’s crucial to hire a contractor that has solid communication skills, as they’re going to be completely responsible with making sure that you get what you’re wanting out of the project.
Before moving forward with a contract, make sure that you get a report from your state’s consumer protection agency, as well as your local BBB. These reports will let you know if a contractor has a history of disputes with any clients!
During the face to face meeting, you should ask your potential contractor:
For their permanent mailing address, personal phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address, and fax number.
If they carry insurance that will protect you for liability. If they do, ask for a copy of the insurance certificates to make sure that they’re legal and up-to-date.
How much will this remodel add to your home’s value?
Does the contractor have a solid relationship with other contractors such as electricians, plumbers, people with HVAC experience? Does your contractor work with these people on a regular basis?
Does the contractor have any professional designations? A few examples are a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) or Certified Bath Designer (CBD)? If they do, how long have they been a member of the trade organization?
Don’t hire a contractor after the face to face meeting! Before hiring, make sure to double-check the credentials of the contractor you want to hire.
Make sure that the contractor holds all of the required licenses that the state and city municipalities require for the region you live in. You should invest your money into contractors who have invested in training to earn certifications!
At the end of the day, you should always choose a certified and trained professional over a company that offers cheaper prices!
Now that you’ve narrowed down your potential list to just a few names, it’s now time to start bidding!
A contractor that’s worth your investment will want a complete set of blueprints and a list of what you (as the homeowner) want out of the project. After they’re received this information from you, they should give you an estimate of what they’re going to spend on your project.
In order to compare bids with other contractors, you should ask each contractor to break down their cost of materials, profit margins, labor, and other expenses that have been summed into their fees.
Once you get this estimate from each contractor, compare pricings to the other contractors that you’re interested in hiring.
Keep in mind that as a general rule of thumb, these materials count for 40% of the total cost of the project. 15-20% of the project should cover profit margins!
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Get Your Contract in Writing
After you’ve selected your contractor, take a look over the documents that your contractor has prepared. Go through this contract with a fine-tooth comb. You’ll want to make sure that the contract includes the following information:
The bid price the contractor offered
The payment schedule you agreed upon
The site plan
A schedule of primary construction tasks
A change-order clause
An express limited warranty
A clause about dispute resolution
A waiver of lien
Hiring the Right Home Remodeling Contractor
With the right home remodeling contractor, your dream home doesn’t have to be a dream! It’s up to you to make sure that you do your research and find the right contractor for your home project!
Take time to make sure that you’re thoroughly researching each contractor that you’re interested in. At the end of the day, don’t feel obligated to pick one contractor because of a personal relationship that you may have with their previous clients. Just make sure you’re doing what’s best for your home and your dreams!