The thought of a home renovation project can be exciting but also overwhelming. The struggle to find a competent and reliable contractor to do the job can be frustrating.
We’ve all heard horrible stories of contractors who tore apart a room and never came back. Then there are the projects that end up costing more than three times what the contractor estimated originally.
Home projects have the potential for problems to arise; everything from hidden plumbing issues to rotted floor boards and faulty wiring. This is why finding a good contractor that is upfront about potential problems that could arise is so important.
Have a Clear Idea of What You Want
When starting a home remodel project, spend time thinking about exactly what you want. Be very specific with the size of the space to the types of materials you are looking to add. The more details you can give a contractor the more accurate their estimates will be.
Put the time in to do your research before contacting contractors. Communication is key, give as much details as you can to help move the process forward more efficiently and effectively.
Start with Recommendations
When choosing a contractor it is important to have some insight into their work. This is why finding Contractors with excellent reviews can be a great place to start.
Talking with friends and family can be another effective way to get recommendations. When talking with friends and family, ask for the pros and cons of their experience with contractors they’ve used. Inquire about the communication between them and the contractor. Also ask if any problems arose and how the contractor dealt with the issue.
When you are done researching contractors, the next step is to reach out to each one and have a list of questions ready to ask. For example:
- Years of experience
- Size of projects they can handle
- Number of consecutive projects they can handle
- Portfolio of past work
Answers will reveal the contractors availability, reliability, how much attention they will give your project, and how smoothly it will go.
Schedule a Bid
Once you have spoken with the contractors, the next step is to have them come to your home to give you a bid. Don’t consider any company who charges for this initial consultation and estimate.
After scheduling your appointment, it is important to prepare for their visit. Try to have some plans written up and an idea of the materials you would like to use. You will also need to have a budget in mind that has some room for possible issues that could arise during construction.
Once your appointment is complete the contractor will submit a bid for the job. The bid should show the cost of materials, labor, and other expenses.
Be Realistic with the Timeline
A great contractor is a busy contractor. When preparing for a home renovation project, be sure to have a realistic timeline.
There are certain times of the year when contractors are busier and in demand. The better the company’s reputation the more likely you are to wait up to a few months for the project to begin. If you can give them a 3-6 month window, it will take the pressure off the contractor and you will be more likely to get top quality work.
Confirm Licenses and Insurance
General contractors and most subcontractors should be licensed, though the procedure varies by state and municipality. Check your state disciplinary boards, Better Business Bureau, and local court records for problems. Ask the contractor for a copy of their license and copies of the licenses of the subcontractors who will be involved in the project.
In case of accidents or weather events that cause damage to your home while work is being done, know what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance and what is covered by your contractor's business insurance. Get a copy of the company's insurance policy.
Get all Details in Writing
Have a contract written up that details every step of the project, including:
- payment schedule
- proof of liability insurance and worker's compensation payments
- a starting date and projected completion date
- specific materials and products to be used
- a requirement that the contractor obtains lien releases (which protect you if he doesn't pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.
Insisting on a clear contract is imperative to the success of the project.
Price Alone Should Not Be the Deciding Factor
When deciding which contractor to go with, the price should not be the first factor. Oftentimes, the cheapest bid is from the inexperienced contractor or the one that will cut corners and not do the job well.
The most important thing to look for in a contractor is communication. If you have consistent communication and you feel comfortable with the contractor, it is worth paying more money and getting the job done right. Remember when hiring a contractor, you are buying a service, not a product. The quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project.
Choosing the Right Contractor Is Important for Success
How you evaluate contractors can dictate the success of your project. Being thorough is a priority, pursuing details about who you’ll hire will benefit the entire remodeling project. The contractor you select will be working directly with you throughout the entire project. They will craft your home and ensuring they understand goals will save both time and money over the long haul.
An experienced professional remodeling contractor will be able to do the job efficiently with professional results. Finnteriors Construction Services is a locally owned and operated general contracting business based in the St. Louis area. For over 20 years, we have provided our customers with exceptional general contracting services available at fair and competitive prices.
We work hard so you’ll be satisfied with your next remodel. We can design and provide guidance on which materials will work best within your budget. We are proud to serve homeowners with quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Contact us today for a free estimate for your home remodeling.