So you know that you want to remodel your home. But how do you know which contractor to work with? When hiring a contractor it is important to consider several different factors. You must consider not only price, but the quality of work, and trustworthiness. Here are some things to consider when you are hiring a contractor.
Do You Know What You Want?
It may seem obvious, but a big part of compatibility with a contractor is to have an idea of what you want. In other words, have a strong idea of the project at hand and what visions you have for it. Spend time to think about your goals – what you want it to look like, the features you wish it to have, budget, etc – before the project begins. If you don’t know how to translate your goals into specific design ideas, hire a design consultant that can offer these services.
It is never a good idea to blindly accept the first bid that you receive from a contractor. Getting more than one estimate will give you a clear expectation of the cost of your project. Additionally, this enables you to take a deep look into each contractor’s previous work so you can see how they align with the vision for your project. Like any marketplace, contractors each bring their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Watch out for bargain rate estimates because they are most likely cutting corners somewhere.
Research Potential Contractors
It is not enough to simply hear a bid from a contractor. You must ensure that your contractor is fully licensed and have a clear understanding of the work that must be completed. Some contractors are specialists and some are generalists. Make sure the contractor you choose has the capabilities to complete the job as contracted. If subcontracting work is required, be sure to understand who these subcontractors are and what work they will be doing. Does the contractor that you want to hire have proper insurance? Your contractor’s insurance policy protects you as the homeowner from incurring responsibility for an injury sustained on your property.
What is your potential contractor’s reputation? References and a positive online reputation is a good indication that the company has done significant work and that their customers are happy with their services. Beware of a “too perfect” looking reputation though. A 100% satisfaction rate could be a red flag indicating that the reviews posted are not from actual customers.
What Is The Turnaround Time?
The projected turnaround time of your project is a good indicator of what kind of contractor you are dealing with. If the turnaround time is too short, they could be sacrificing quality for speed or lying to you about the time. If the estimated length is wildly different from other contractors you have talked to, there could be an issue. A good rule of thumb- If a contractor can get to your job rather quickly, there is normally a reason for this. Consumers are not choosing this contractor for one reason or another.
Every project should have a contract, no matter the size of the estimated work. A contract should include information on applicable building permits and fees (typically handled by the contractor, but legally your responsibility), a description of what products and services are to be provided by the contractor, payment terms, subcontractor issues (such as license and insurance verification and warranty of workmanship), and the consequences of default by either party. Contracts ensure that if a dispute arises, it can be dealt with in a timely manner. Contractors will often give you a fixed bid, but some work on a “cost-plus” basis, charging you for materials, time/labor, and an administrative or overhead fee. This is sometimes a legitimate alternative, but it should have a cap or some provision to contain cost overruns.
If you are searching for a contractor for your next remodeling or redesign project, Home Town Restyling can help you start planning for the project before you ever leave home. Download any of our free E-books or planning checklists and start planning like a pro or request a free quote and one of our representatives will be in contact with you shortly. Ready to get started? Give us a call!