Hiring the Right Remodeling Contractor
The push-pull of remodeling your home comes with both excitement and dreed. After all, we are talking about substantial investments. An average bathroom remodeling project can start at $10-thousand. A kitchen remodeling project can cost a homeowner between $12,000-$35,000. Once you have finally decided to jump in and do a remodel of your home, you then have to figure out who to hire to help you. Sure, you can reach out to friends and family to get recommendations, but sorting through those can even be tough. We understand this game well, which is why we decided to put together our top five tips for hiring a remodeling contractor.
TIP ONE – Search & Search Again
The best part about living in the information age is you have plenty of information at your fingertips. This also happens to be the worst part because it’s so overwhelming. Use your favorite search engines and start identifying potential contractor candidates for your particular project. When you do an online search, make sure you niche down to find the right contractor for the type of project you’re doing. A general search will reveal an overwhelming amount of results, but a search for a “modern bathroom remodeling contractor” might get you closer to what you want.
Here are some additional search tips:
- Make a shortlist of contractors and start cross-searching them on social media platforms. If they have a social media presence, they might also have reviews.
- Take Google reviews into account and read through them to make sure they are legitimate. These reviews can help you learn more about businesses.
- Read through websites to get a feel for the company and their approach to working with their clients.
- Make inquiries to see how responsive they are to your emails or social media messages.
TIP TWO – Get Quotes From Multiple Remodeling Contractors
While your best friend may have had a lot of luck with her contractor, interview multiple options. Contractors have different resources, manufacturing relationships, and labor options. All of these factors can have a big impact on your overall cost to do a project. Don’t be afraid to ask about these things either, as they might also reveal how long the company has been doing business and their reputation. Here are a couple of other tips when interviewing multiple remodeling contractors:
- Avoid going with the cheapest quote unless the contractor can prove how adept they are at their work.
- Pay attention to how responsive these companies are and how quickly they respond to your messages.
- Prepare a list of questions beforehand and document their answers, so you don’t get confused as to how each company responds.
TIP THREE – Choose and Get a Written Contract
Once you’ve decided which company to hire, you’ll want to get a written contract in place. This contract will protect both you and the company, and if you’re working with a reputable company, they will likely offer it before you have to ask for one. These contracts aren’t complicated but should lay out the main functions of the project and the price points. There should also be context around how long the project should take. Don’t be afraid if some of that language varies or offers the contractor some flexibility, so long as it sounds reasonable. Here are some additional items your contract should have:
- License and Insurance numbers, so they are state-approved to do the work they are hired to do. This includes and state law required items like construction lien laws, recovery fund disclosures, and contractor right to repair.
- Warranty information about anything they are installing (material) and labor they are contracting to do.
- Payment schedule, so you and the contractor are clear about how payments are processed and made.
- Any sub-contractor agreements. You should be aware of the arrangement your contractor makes with any sub-contractors for your remodel.
TIP FOUR – Be Honest About Your Budget
Your contractor wants to do the best work they can for your budget. This means they need you to clearly define your budget. A tip to help you to know how to budget is to break your remodeling project down into phases. This allows you to spread your costs out throughout a project and plan financially. Also, be sure to do a little homework to ensure you’re paying an appropriate price for the work you’re having done. This is a little tricky, as you don’t want to “second guess” your contractor, but it will allow you to feel informed and empowered. Here are some other budget tips:
- Set your spending limits and make sure your contractor understands this limit. Your contractor will appreciate this, so they can plan your project and foresee hiccups that can be costly along the way.
- Get savvy with materials and ask for alternatives or multiple options in areas of the home you can skimp a little on.
- Be mindful of remodeling hiccups. Every home remodel runs into a surprise or two. If you plan for that in advance, you will be able to weather that storm.
TIP FIVE – Don’t Let Your Contractor Demo Too Soon
It is tempting to start ripping down cabinets, walls, or pulling up flooring but hold off until your start date is locked in. You’ll be living in a mess for a while, and there is no need to start before your contractor is truly ready. This is also true in the case of material deliveries. Have the materials onsite before doing the demo to make sure you’re not living in chaos while you wait for another two weeks for the “right” flooring to show up or the right appliances.
These tips will help your home remodeling project go smoother and help you hire the right contractor for the job. The only other factor we will add is that you communicate regularly with your contractor. It might be annoying, but more communication during these projects saves everyone time and money.