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How to Choose a Home Remodeling Contractor

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Published in Remodeling

Home remodeling is a big investment. Take a little extra time to find the perfect remodeling contractor, and reap the rewards for years and years down the line.

These simple tips can help you avoid a massive headache and sleep soundly at night—and save a lot of money.

Seek out Referrals

Referrals and word-of-mouth are how the best home remodeling companies get new business, and they’re the first thing you should look for when choosing such an agency.

Home remodeling is a big investment—that means people who had a great experience are very vocal, and people who had a very bad experience are, too.

Ask any friend or family member where they got their work done, and they’ll tell you everything you need to know about their agency.

Check Credentials

Now it’s time to do a little digging. Most reputable home remodeling agencies will have a website you can visit where they proudly display their required licenses and designations.

If you can’t find these licenses anywhere, ask to see them. And if the agency can’t provide proof, find someone else.

Remodeling agencies should be licensed by the proper state and local governments, and receive designations from organizations like the National Association of Homebuilders, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and National Kitchen & Bath Association.

The best contractors invest hours and hours of time into coursework to achieve these certificates, which indicate they’re serious about providing quality service.

Interview Your Candidates

Once your list of contractors is narrowed down, set up meetings at their office or over the phone to gauge whether they’re the right fit or not.

Contractors should be able to answer all of your questions with great clarity and depth, but they should also ask you plenty of questions, too.

Ask for References

And don’t just ask for references—check them, too!

Each contractor should be able to provide a bevy of completed projects to show off their talents. Ask for contact information for the projects you like the most, and don’t hesitate to call former customers to see if they’re truly satisfied with the work.

Ask questions related to the contractor staying under budget, whether the contractor was easy to work with, and if there are any issues with the project that weren’t addressed.

Check the Contractors Experience and Management Skills

Before you choose a contractor, you must determine:

  • If the remodeler has a real mailing address (no PO boxes), an email address, cell phone, etc. Being able to contact your contractor at any time is crucial.
  • If the remodeling agency has liability insurance. Ask for copies of their insurance certificate, and also be sure to find out how much value will be added to your home after completing the project—you may need to obtain additional coverage from your insurance provider.
  • If the contractor has an established reputation. How long have they been in business? Do they have good working relationships with sub-contractors like electricians and plumbers?
  • They have a proven record of getting results.
  • They have additional, professional designations—Certified Bath Designer, Certified Graduate Remodeler, etc. Is the remodeler a member of a trade organization?

Make Sure It’s in the Contract

Make sure your final contract includes:

  • Bid price, payment schedule
  • Site plan
  • Work specifics
  • Schedule of construction tasks
  • Change order clause
  • Procedural close-out list
  • Limited warranty
  • Dispute resolution clause
  • Waiver of lien

All set? By now, you’ve found your dream contractor. Time to get building.

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