Even the smallest home remodeling projects can take a lot of time, knowledge, and effort. As a busy homeowner, there are some projects you may be able to tackle on your own, but there are many home renovation projects you shouldn’t take on without professional assistance.
Investing in home remodeling projects is worth it because these upgrades can improve your quality of living and the use of your space. Some home remodeling projects also increase the value of your home, but you’ll only reap these benefits if the projects are completed successfully and correctly.
If you’ve decided to hire a contractor to help with a home remodeling project, it’s important to choose the right professional for the job. As a potential customer, contractors must also analyze your needs and expectations before deciding if you’re the right fit for their experience and talents. Review the following advice to ensure you and the contractor you choose can work together in harmony to complete a quality home remodel.
Know What You Want
Before you reach out to local contractors, identify exactly what you need to complete for your home remodel. When you have a clear vision in mind, it’s easier to understand exactly who you’ll need to successfully complete it.
There are many different types of home renovation projects and the professionals you need for each project may vary. For example, to move pipes around for a bathroom remodel, you’ll need a licensed plumber. If you need to rewire lighting in a room, you may need the help of a professional electrician.
Ask for Recommendations
One report found that 83% of participants trust the recommendations they receive from friends and family. If you’re not sure where to start in your contractor search, ask people you know and trust.
You only want to get in touch with contractors who are looking for remodeling jobs and who have the time to take on your job. Once you get recommendations from friends and family members, check to make sure the contractor is still in business and that their company performs the specific work you need.
Read Their Reviews
Even if a contractor was recommended by a friend or family member, it’s still a good idea to check out their online reputation. Online reviews are easy to access and are usually a candid way to understand how past clients feel about working with a certain professional.
If a contractor has several poor reviews or doesn’t have online reviews at all, reconsider whether you should move forward with hiring them. It may be a red flag that shows they aren’t reputable and haven’t completed the best work in the past.
Check Their References
Speaking with a contractor’s references is one way to truly understand their work ethic. Even if a contractor was recommended to you and you looked over positive online reviews, don’t skip this step.
When you speak with references directly, they’re likely to provide detailed information on their experiences. With this information, you can decide if your working styles will mesh well and determine if you think the contractor will perform high-quality work.
Look at Examples of Their Work
Most contractors post photos of their work on their website or social media profiles. Browse through these photos and analyze the ones that are closest to the type of project you need to be completed. Consider the quality of work and how the “after” photos compare to the “before” photos.
If possible, try to set up visits with the contractor’s past clients to view their completed projects in person. Attempt to contact past clients who had similar home remodel projects to the one you’re interested in. When you visit a completed project, you can touch the materials, ask questions about the maintenance of the work, and learn more about the past customer’s experience working with the contractor.
Verify Licensure and Certification
Past work and customer reviews are important but so is verifying a contractor’s license, certification, and insurance. If there are no general contractor license requirements in your state, a contractor shows that they went above and beyond by earning their license anyway. Hiring a contractor with a license, certification, or other professional credentials may make you feel more confident in their ability to complete the work correctly and up to code.
General contractor insurance is also crucial because it protects your project, as well as the safety of the workers and your family members. Before hiring a contractor for your home remodel, ask to see their credentials and insurance so you can rest assured they have adequate knowledge, experience, and coverage.
Get Bids for the Job
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few potential contractors, get bids on your job. A bid is a proposal that provides crucial information on your home remodel, including the:
- Cost for materials;
- Cost for labor;
- Timeline for different project phases;
- Completion date;
- Project plan, including subcontractors needed.
Before a contractor can start the bidding process, they’ll need to ask you more about the job. The contractor can only accurately estimate and price the remodeling project when you provide them with extensive details about your vision.
While the price is an important factor when choosing a contractor, don’t let it be the only factor you consider. Take past project aesthetics and customer reviews into consideration before dismissing the highest bid or choosing the lowest bid.
Get to Know Your Contractor
Even if everything seems to check out with a contractor, it’s also important to ensure you get along and can work together seamlessly. Spend some time with your potential contractor so you can better understand their communication skills and style.
Consider how easy it is to get ahold of them to set up this meeting. If they didn’t call back in a reasonable amount of time, you may have trouble getting updates in the middle of your remodeling project.
The contractor may have questions to ask you as the remodeling client to ensure your business relationship and project are beneficial for them. As the customer, you should also have questions to ask the prospective remodeling contractor during your meeting. By taking the time to ensure you can both work together well, your project is more likely to go smoothly, saving you time, money, and resources.
Keep this advice in mind while searching for a contractor for your home project. By taking the time to identify a professional that will work well with you and deliver a quality remodel, you’re likely to have a good experience and be pleased with the outcome of your home remodeling project.