Finding a Good Contractor for Your Home Remodel
Most people seek home remodel contractors when they lack the skills of time to do the work themselves, or cannot do the work themselves. Finding the right remodeling contractor however can sometimes prove to be the hardest aspect of your home improvement project. Choosing a remodeling contractor is quite similar to hiring a new employee. Since you may not wish to hire an applicant merely because they were the first to apply, likewise do not choose a contractor prior to narrowing down the best available options. Consult referrals, check out the portfolio of previous accomplishments, check the licensing and use a competitive bidding approach to reach a final decision. Here are some considerations to make when choosing a contractor for a home remodeling project.
First of all, get recommendations and create a list of about 15 contractors within your locality with the necessary expertise. You should gradually narrow down your list to the best candidates and ultimately pick your contractor from the best identified. Thus, at this point it is best to include as many names as possible. A list can be compiled by consulting; online reviews, home owner friends, searching for this service online and social media.
Second, compare the portfolios of various contractors. It is necessary to pick a contractor specialized in the remodeling work you require. A contractor specialized in remodeling kitchens may not be the most suitable for a bathroom renovation. On that note, creative home improvement contractors can be useful for most projects, especially ones that require plenty of customization according to your unique taste.
Third, narrow your list down further by checking for licensing and certification. Prospective home improvement contractors should have specific certifications based on the project wish to handle. Due to legal requirements regarding from state to state, confirm with the licensing division for your locality about the specific requirements a contractor needs. In addition to appropriate licensing and certification for completing the project legally and safely, make sure the contractors on your list have liability insurance for protection against any damage they may cause to your home.
After narrowing down your list to about five contenders, start to check references. Because this is common practice, most reputable contractors will expect potential clients to ask for a list of references. Typical contractor references have at least 10 jobs with the name, phone number and address of each client. It may also help if the jobs listed are dated. Next, call some references and ask about the quality of the contractor in question and their general satisfaction.
After getting the reviews of several references, eliminate any contractors with poor reviews to narrow down your list. With the remaining contractors in your list, review examples of projects they did in the past. Visit a minimum of one finished project from each contractor and be keen on the quality of their work. Also, look out for details specific to your project and the overall feel of each contractor’s past work.
Lastly, use a competitive bidding approach and hire the most suitable contractor. After much consultation, the remaining contractors in your list ought to present to you brief proposals with estimated costs, timelines and materials needed for the project i.e. a bid. Based on their bids, you can go ahead and select the most suitable contractor for your project.