You have a vision, a budget, and a plan for an exciting remodeling project. Now all you need is a professional contractor to turn it into reality. There are some important steps you should undertake as you move through the process of hiring a contractor. Here are a few basics on finding and hiring the right contractor.
References and Referrals
The first step is to determine which contractors handle the type of remodeling project you have planned, such as a kitchen, bath, or basement finish. While a general contractor can be sufficient, one who has ongoing experience and expertise in your type of project will be better. Start with making a list of 10 to 15 contractors in your area who have expertise in your kind of remodeling project. As you go through the selection process, you will eliminate names until you have a few top contenders. Word-of-mouth referral remains the best way to find a qualified professional, so don’t be shy to ask friends, family, and neighbors whom they have hired or would recommend. Remember also to search social media, look at websites, and read online reviews.
Interviews and Portfolios
Next, it is time to start the interview process. Allow at least several weeks to move through contacting each name on the list. A smaller company may mean that the contractor you want to speak to is out on jobs all day long and may take a little time getting back to you. Before you determine that they are either too busy or too lazy to respond to your call or email, wait until you speak with them before crossing them off the list. A good contractor will be in high demand, working long hours, and worth your search time and their fees.
Ask to see photos or a portfolio of their recent projects. Companies put their best work into the portfolio to show off, so if what you see is not up to your standards, their average work will not be satisfactory. Ask for references from recent customers and then don’t be afraid to call them. Ask questions such as “how was the contractor at executing the planned project,” “were they on time and on budget,” and “were you pleased with the outcome”? People will be excited to talk about their home renovation, but if they are not excited to talk about the contractor, strike that name off your list and move on.
License and Insurance
Although you should not be the one who has to check up on the legal requirements, you need to protect yourself and your assets. A contractor should be licensed in the state and county where the work will be performed, and all insurance should be up to date. They should have general liability and worker’s compensation insurance before any worker sets foot on your property. One simple accident on the job site can lead to litigation. Ask the contractor to provide a copy of these documents when they submit their bid and contract to you and confirm that the dates are current.
When you have whittled down your list to three names, play like it’s House Hunters and discuss each one’s advantages and disadvantages to make your final selection. Consider their bid versus your budget, expected start and completion dates, and specialty subcontractors they will use in the project. In the end, go with your gut. If there is one person you don’t feel comfortable with, eliminate them. This person will be in your house and around your family for weeks or longer, so don’t be afraid to reject them. And conversely, if one gives you a good impression without overselling his or her abilities, continue to proceed in the process with them.
Turn Key Homes LLC offers many professional services in addition to home building and remodeling. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your remodeling process. Call us today at (920) 470-4315, or contact us at turnkeyhomesllc.com/contact-us.