If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into a home remodeling project, finding the right contractor is one of the biggest challenges you’ll have to face. This part can be quite intimidating if you’ve never done it before. But there’s no need to worry. It’s not quantum physics, but finding the right contractor does require a few careful considerations.
First and foremost, find someone who makes you comfortable around them. No matter what others say, a contractor can never be good enough for you if you hardly get along. Does he pay attention when you talk about your plans for the project? Does he value your ideas and insights, or does he brush them aside? The contractor may be the pro, but no matter how you look at it, you’re still the boss.
There’s no doubt in the world that experience matters. Read online reviews and let your prospects provide references. Give these folks a call and ask them to tell you about their experience with the contractor. It would be great to have them send you photos of the completed job.
Solid Work Ethics
You don’t want your project to continue for far longer than necessary. Therefore, choose a contractor who has a reputation for being on time and for ensuring a high daily productivity. Even if you don’t do your research yet, you will be able to get clues. For instance, is he on time for your appointments? Is he respectful towards you? When he enters your home, does he seem concerned about soiling your carpet? These are small things that can make a big difference in the results of your project.
License and Adequate Insurance Coverage
Accidents can happen. When they do, you’d like to be as liability-free as possible, whether someone is injured or there’s property damage. Choose a contractor who is licensed as well as insured, both with worker’s compensation and liability policies.
A Solid Estimate
A solid bid is one that includes a breakdown of all your material and labor costs, profit margins and other expenses. Of course, you want to know exactly where your cash is going. The contractor should give you his full attention while you tell him what you want, and you have to make plans together as partners.
Schedule of Payments
Each contractor may have his own unique payment schedule. In most cases, this is 10% at signing, three 25% payments at three evenly spaced intervals, and 15% upon completion. In any case, make sure the schedule is clear in the contract. Avoid anyone who asks for a minimum of 50% upfront. If you’re not very confident in your ability to assess a remodeling contract, don’t hesitate to ask for help from someone who may be more knowledgeable.