Tips for Choosing a Renovation Contractor In most cases, the most difficult part of home renovation is searching for a competent and dependable contractor. Everyone has heard about that contractor who spent thrice the original estimate by the end of the project, or the one that never returned after tearing the kitchen apart. These are but a few reasons to be very meticulous in picking the people to tackle this kind of endeavor. If you’ve been looking around for a reliable contractor, these tips may be all you need: 1. Start with referrals
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Word of mouth is undeniably the best route to any qualified professional, not just contractors. Ask your friends and neighbors or even neighbors or coworkers if they can recommend somebody.. Remember to ask why they think it’s been a good experience, how the contractor took responsibility of the problems and if they would use the same contractor for a future need.
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2. Review credentials. After getting a few referrals, it’s time to do some preliminary research, either by calling the contractor’s office or visiting their website. See if they are licensed, both on state and municipal levels, and if they belong to any professional associations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Association of Homebuilders. Find contractors who have spent time and money on course work and painstaking exams to earn specific certifications. However, you should know that certifications are not all created equal. Do some more research to find out the requirements. 3. Interview your prospects. Create a shortlist of candidates and set a meeting with each one. Try to limit it to three contractors, as things can be confusing beyond that. The way a contractor responds to your questions is very important; however, communication is still a two-way street. The candidates should be asking questions, too. 4. Talk to references. Checking out some of the contractors’ recent or continuing projects is important. You should also call some of their former customers to ask if they were happy with the results. Keep in mind that when you work with a remodeler, you are buying a service instead of a product. 5. Look into management practices and business background. There are a few more things you’d like to know about a remodeler before hiring one. Ask your prospects if they: > Maintain a fixed mailing address and e-mail address, a landline phone number, a fax number, mobile number and and voicemail; > Have liability insurance; > Are established presence in your local community; or > Hold any relevant professional certifications. 5. Sign a written contract. After choosing a contractor, review the documents they have prepared. All the pertinent details must be there, such as: > bid price and payment schedule; > scope of the job; > the site plan; > schedule of major construction tasks; > change-order clause; > warranty; > clause covering dispute resolution; and > a waiver of lien ensuring that subcontractors and suppliers cannot put a lien on your property should the contractor fail to pay them.