Finding a Reliable Home Remodeling Contractor

For a lot of homeowners, the hardest part when doing a home renovation project is not the work itself. In essence, it is finding the right, reliable and competent contractor to do the renovation job. Knocking the wall down, retailing the entire floors and installing kitchen cabinets are easy tasks compared to the struggle of hiring quality contractors who can perform high-level tasks from start to finish.

Everyone knows horrendous stories about bad contractors who tore apart houses and never returned or projects that end up costing the homeowner at least three times the original estimate from service providers and contractors. Even if you find an excellent contractor, renovating a house can be very expensive and stressful.

Not only that, but it will also involve unpleasant surprises like rotten subfloors that are revealed when you remove the tiles, leaking pipelines behind the walls or dangerous electrical wirings. Listed below are some tips for people who want to find the perfect contractor while keeping their budget under control and their sanity intact.

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Know what you want before getting estimates from service providers

The first thing people who want to renovate their homes is to start with an idea and good plans. Do not start the project by talking to service providers. People will get a more accurate quote if they can be more specific about what they want to be done, as well as the materials they like the contractors to use to make it happen.

Ask family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors for references

People clients know or people in their neighborhood who experienced hiring contractors for the same project are excellent resources. If they know someone in the construction industry, ask them for any recommendations. Employees of hardware near their area can also be a good provider of home remodeling contractor referrals.

Interview three to five contractors

Ask questions and get written proposals with estimates from every contractor that you are planning to hire. When you get all the estimates from different contractors, compare their bids and make sure to include the same tasks and materials, so you are comparing oranges to oranges.

According to experts, reaching out to as many contractors as possible, but detailed conversations and estimates from three to five contractors can help homeowners feel more confident as they compare different options and make the right decisions about the home remodeling project. It is a vital process from an experience and education perspective.

Be realistic when it comes to availability

The availability of contractors and other service providers depend on where the project is based. Another factor is the time of the year, but the best contractors do consistent work, that is why you can expect to wait at least a few months for the project to start. Three to four months is going to give service providers enough time to finish their current project and put yours on their calendar. But if you plan it six months ahead, that is even better.

Make sure to ask the contractors what work will be subcontracted

If the renovation is too big for the service provider to finish in time, they may require to subcontract some of the jobs to other service providers who specialize in works like plumbing, detailed carpentry or electrical. You need to know when subcontractors will be inside your house, and whether the main contractors will supervise their work. Clients need to have as little interaction with subcontractors as possible.

Choose companies that suit the project

Companies who did an excellent job putting tiles on your friend’s or neighbor’s bathroom is not necessarily the right company to construct an additional room to your house. Make sure to find the company that regularly does the type of project that you want to be done. You do not want firms to use your house as their test project or guinea pig.

Check the necessary licenses, litigation and complaint history

Construction companies and subcontractors need to have the necessary licenses, though the procedure differs by the municipality, state or city. Check the disciplinary boards of your state, city or district, BBB or Better Business Bureau, as well as the local court records if there is any problem with the licenses of the firms or subcontractors you’re planning to hire.

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Check all the references

Talk to both subcontractors and past and present clients; people who can tell you if the construction firm pays them on time. Ask past clients if their estimates were close to the overall cost, if the clients got along well with the project manager and if it is possible to see photos of their completed work.

Read reviews found on the internet

Read online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, HomeAdvisor, or Angie’s List to make sure that they are the right firms for the job and if they work well with you. People need to keep in mind that reading these online reviews are not a substitute for reference checking. While there will be negative reviews, constant negative reviews can raise a red flag. A single negative review or one nasty comment may not give clients an accurate picture of their business.

Sign detailed contracts

Make sure that the contracts spell out precisely the things that need to be done, including payment schedules, deadlines materials that will be used, as well as the model number and the company that will provide the materials. If the company is not detailed enough, make sure to give addendums or write your own. Any changes in the project, whether you request additional features or change the materials, it needs to be put into a written contract, including the materials, costs and the new job.

Make sure to communicate with them regularly

Talk with the firm regularly, at least once a day to discuss any changes in the work. If you see potential problems with the job, don’t be afraid to speak up. Something done wrong will make it harder to fix after they already packed up and move to another place. But make sure to avoid micromanaging. Clients need to find a contractor that they can trust that will provide them with honest updates, as well as oversee the work.

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