Planning to renovate your home or embark on a home improvement project but don’t know where and how to start? Read through this post to help you finally realize that dream home renovation.
Whether you are remodeling the living room, adding a bathroom, or replacing the roofing, getting the right home renovation contractor is the first step. While you may have plenty of options, choosing the right home builder is not an easy task. There are several things to consider when hiring a home improvement company to ensure you get the right one.
Choosing the Best Home Builder
A quick search on the Internet or social media will surely yield numerous providers. But before you do so, start by asking for recommendations from family and friends. Chances are, you’ll get a couple of recommendations.
Getting positive feedback from past clients is a huge plus for a home improvement contractor. However, you still need to do due diligence even if the contractor is highly recommended.
Licensed and certified
License and certifications ensure that the contractor follows the standards, knows what they’re doing, and operates legally. Likewise, they should also hold local permits to be able to work on your property. These documentations protect you in case unwanted conflicts or issues arise. Aside from licenses, they should also be covered by insurance to protect you from any liabilities resulting from the project.
Also, some projects require permits from local authorities and require duly licensed providers. Look for a contractor who will take care of all processes related to obtaining a permit.
Usually, verifying the license status of a contractor can be easily done with a phone call. Likewise, you can also check the local Better Business Bureau or regulatory body for any complaints or negative history. Reputable contractors ensure that they follow regulations to avoid possible legal troubles. So, if you have home improvement contractors without credentials or with bad history, tick them off your list.
Home renovation experts at AFS General recommend looking for a builder with long years in the industry. But this doesn’t mean any experienced contractor is good. Choose one with relevant experience specifically on the type of your home improvement project. For example, if you’re renovating the roofing, you should look for a contractor with experience in roofing projects. However, there are also contractors with experience and expertise in various home remodeling projects. Ideally, you should hire someone with all-around skills and qualifications.
Specialty projects require certain professionals. If the renovation work entails structural engineering, electricity, woodwork, or plumbing, you should choose a contractor who is adequately staffed with these professionals and skilled workers. By hiring experienced professionals, you are assured of the quality of the output. For example, plumbing should be planned and done by a certified plumber – not an electrician or carpenter. Likewise, the contractor should also have a project manager who oversees the project and is always available for any concerns.
Knowing the exact project specifics would help you narrow down your choices and pick the right contractor. Be specific about what you want done, materials to be used, the budget allotted, and the timeframe. Let the prospective contractors know about your renovation goals to give them an idea of whether or not they’ll be able to meet your demands. If they have a design center, portfolio, or showroom, you can check whether their design styles and materials suit your preferences.
Ask for references
Doing a background check about the home builder is vital. As such, you should ask for references from your prospective contractors. Reach out to these references to learn more about the company. Some important things to know: how the contractor communicates, the quality of their work, the skills of the workers, the overall outcome of the project, and the level of satisfaction. This should give a better idea about the home renovation company. Satisfied customers will be happy to recommend the contractor. On the other hand, if they have bad experiences, you’ll be warned and be kept safe.
If possible, try to meet in person with the references to review their actual work. It would be best to look for past clients with similar projects.
Reach out to multiple contractors to get different bids. This will give you a rough estimate as to how much the project costs. It should also help you find the most reasonable cost. Reputable home renovation contractors should provide you with a detailed project estimate.
Another point of comparison is the payment schedule requested by the contractor. Usually, financially stable builders are capable of financing the start of the project. If a company wants you to pay half of the project cost, they are either facing financial difficulties or are afraid you won’t pay up. Generally, the payment schedule for major home renovation project are as follows: 10% at sign up, 25% at three stages of the project, and the final 15% once the entire project has been satisfactorily completed. However, you can work out a schedule that is amenable to both parties.
Finally, everything discussed in the project should be put into writing. The contract should include all the specifics of the project, the timeline, the cost, etc. It is a legally binding agreement that ensures you get value for money. Be sure to read the fine prints and be ready to ask questions to clarify things.