Home Remodeling: How to Hire a Contractor to Remodel Your Home
Do you have a basement that you believe would work great as a home office? Do you have a room in your home you would like to redesign to better suit your needs, but have no idea where to begin? If so, then you need to hire a home remodeling contractor and let them share their expertise so you can have the space you want. Unfortunately, finding a home remodeling contractor can be intimidating, especially if you know very little about the construction process. So, to help you out, here are some questions and concerns to keep in mind as you begin to interview potential remodeling contractors.
• Punctuality: Is the contractor on time for appointments?
• Options: Regardless of your financial situation, you probably want multiple pricing options. After all, sometimes it may not matter the brand or product used, but other times, the price indicates quality or guarantee. If the contractor is not willing to give you price options, then you may want to take it upon yourself to find another contractor.
• What type of communication is there? Will there be daily progress reports of the work done and, if applicable, any issues that have arisen?
• How long have they been in business? You should look for a contractor who has been in business for a significant amount of time.
• What about their credentials and disciplinary history? Every state has different guidelines, so take some time to familiarize yourself with what your state requires. Once again, check with the BBB to see if there are any negative reports.
• Who is responsible for the insurance? If you are responsible for the insurance, then move on to another contractor. The contractor should carry their own liability and workers compensation.
• Remember, you don’t have to hire the first contractor you interview. In fact, you should get at least 3 bids (ideally 5) for the job. Many will typically opt for the median price. The contractor who is the lowest is most likely using inferior products, cutting corners or will tell you later into the job that it’s more difficult than anticipated or a product is more expensive than listed originally, and will ultimately cost you more than even the highest bid you received.
• There is more to hiring a contractor than just the price. You will be spending a fair amount of time with them and their crew. Think about whether you feel comfortable with their personality, background, methods and communication skills. Make sure everyone is clear on the job to be done and what it will entail.
• Signing on the dotted line: Before you sign the contract, be sure you understand what every element of the contract means and that it contains the following information: a work timetable, a description of the work, the materials that will be used, payment schedule and any other information related to the job.
• Payment: You should never pay more than 30% up front. Expect periodic payments throughout, with around 10% to be paid at completion.