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Tips for Selecting a Contractor
There are several great ways to locate that perfect contractor:
- Ask family, friends, and neighbors. What better way to learn about your potential experience with a contractor, then to talk to someone who has already worked with them. Resources such as Twitter, Facebook and on-line reviews can be a quick and easy way to gain information.
- Do online research. Not only do you want to visit potential remodeling company websites, but also research what others are saying about them. Sites like the Better Business Bureau—bbb.org, Angie’s List—Angieslist.com, and Service Magic—servicemagic.com can be great avenues for learning what others are saying. You can also review the company’s ratings on these sites.
So now you have a list of remodelers to choose from. How do you narrow them down? Simply follow the guidelines below.
- Learn about the history of the company. Find out how long they’ve been in business and what experience they have with projects like yours. According to the National Association of Home Builders, It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
- Check into their credentials. License requirements vary state to state. Confirm that the remodeler is licensed and/or bonded as required by your jurisdiction. And determine whether the remodeler has adequate workers compensation and general liability insurance. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recommends verifying this information by calling the agency. A copy of an insurance certificate does not let you know if the policy is still current. Even if the certificate has an expiration date, you cannot tell if the insurance has been canceled by either party.
- Research organizations with which they are involved. Being members of groups such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)—nari.org and the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB)–nahb.org, and holding certifications from them, showcases a certain level of professionalism.
- Ask them to share references with you. It is certainly a red flag if they are not willing to do this. Request to speak not only with the jobs that went perfectly, but also those that experienced bumps along the way. This is a great way to find out how they handled challenging situations.
- Remember that the lowest bid is not always the best bid! There are certain costs associated with a remodeling project that are fairly consistent across the board. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Feel comfortable with the remodeler and the information they are sharing. You will be putting a lot of trust in the company you choose. You want to have a good rapport with the person you are working with, be comfortable communicating with them, and feel that your ideas and theirs are aligned. Most importantly, you should feel confident that they are listening to your wants and needs so you end up with a beautiful outcome.
- Home renovation is as much about the experience as the end result. Choosing the right remodeler is a critical component to the success of your project. Conducting your due diligence up front will allow you to make an informed decision and help to ensure a smooth remodeling process and a stunning transformation!