When embarking on home improvement, it’s important to find a contractor that understands and addresses your needs and goals. It is essential that you find a reputable contractor that understands your objective, budget and vision, while adding equity to your home. Communication, openness, and trust are vital aspects between a homeowner and home improvement contractor that ensure both parties are happy with the final result. In order to achieve this, frequent face-to-face contact between a contractor and homeowner is highly recommended. Here are the measures you can take to ensure you find the right contractor for you.
Decide On What You Want
It’s important to have a plan for what you want. Deciding what and how you want to remodel your place, whether it is restoration or renovation, will make it easier for contractors to understand your idea and provide accurate estimates for how much the home improvement will cost. Be upfront about your budget and time, and how much you are willing to spend on both.
Ask/Find Recommendations And Referrals
Word-of-mouth is generally the most effective referral when it comes to choosing a contractor. Speak to family and friends, and anyone you trust who has recently undergone home renovation. Ask them what made the experience positive and if they would use the contractor again. Positive feedback is a powerful endorsement, and allows you to narrow down a list of who to avoid. Online home improvement contractor reviews can also help with your decision, providing you with a broad range of (generally) unbiased opinions. Important to note is how contractors handle a complaint. Any poor conduct online is a warning sign that you may receive similar treatment in person on your project.
Some preliminary research – a phone call or visiting the contractor’s website – can help narrow down your list even further. Find out if they hold the required licenses, if they have invested in course work and what level of experience they have. References from current customers and subcontractors can also influence your decision and provide insight and personal experience about the quality of work offered, and how reliable the contractor is. You can also search the Better Business Bureau for complaints and problems that the contractors have encountered, and how they have been resolved.
Speak To Multiple Home Improvement Contractors
Once you have your list of contractors, it’s time to get multiple bids on your home improvement project. Contractors may charge different rates based on their specialties or level of skill, therefore having multiple bids to compare is recommended. Be sure to find out if the contractor works on and has experience with projects of your size, and what their availability is for interior and exterior improvements. They should be willing to answer all your questions, while making many enquiries from their side.
Bear in mind that renovation sometimes requires permits. Speak to the contractor about what permits are required for your project designs.
Choose Well-Defined Bids
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of contractors, they can be approached for bids. Bring along any blueprints and design plans, and outline exactly what your budget is and what time frame you’re looking at. Ask for a full quote that includes the costs of labor, materials and other expenses that’ll be incurred along the way- and get the quote in writing. Bear in mind that the price reflects quality, and any sub-par remodeling or corner cutting will cause problems in the long run. Once you have chosen the bid that is most fitting for your budget and tastes, make sure the contract is fair and balanced, and covers all your concerns.