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 intimidating if you’ve never tried this in the past. But don’t worry. It’s not rocket science, but you do need to consider a few crucial matters to make sure you end up with the right contractor.
First of all, find someone who will be a joy to work with. No matter what others say, a contractor can never be good enough for you if you hardly get along. Does he listen to you when you talk about your plans? 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. Check out online reviews and ask your prospects for client references. Call these folks and listen to their stories about the contractor. It would be great to have them send you photos of the completed job.
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 example, is he on time when he shows up for your appointment? Does he treat you with respect? When he enters your home, does he seem concerned about soiling your carpet? These things may seem small or minor, but they give you a glimpse of how your project will likely turn out.
License and Sufficient Insurance Coverage
Accidents happen on the job. When they do, you want to be protected from liability, whether it’s property damage or an injury. The contractor should have a license and insurance, both liability and worker’s compensation.
A Solid Bid
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 make sure that you know where your money 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.
Each contractor may have his own unique payment schedule. Usually, you have to pay 10% upon signing, followed by three 25% payments (equal intervals), and finally, 15% as the project is completed. In any case, make sure the schedule is clear in the contract. Skip anyone who demands 50% or more 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.