A home remodel is a big project, that comes with a lot of decision making. You have to decide on your vision, the materials you’ll use, your budget, and much more. However, one of the most difficult decisions you may make is choosing the right contractor for your project. Whether you’re just remodeling your dining room or your entire home, choosing the right contractor can mean the difference between a successful home remodel or a disaster. Here are the things you should consider when choosing the right contractor for your remodeling project.
Benefits of Hiring a Contractor
A Contractor Can Get The Project Done Faster
Because chances are a contractor has worked on a project like yours before, they’ll know exactly what needs to be done in what order and how to do it in the most time effective way possible. Contractors also have teams of workers who will help the project move along. If you’ve ever tried to complete a home remodel project on your own, you’ll know the work that goes into it. Because contractors have the knowledge and research already done, they can eliminate that whole portion of the project and launch right into the actual work. Tools will already be selected, materials will be decided on, and the work will get done.
For example, if you were going to take on a roof remodel, you’d have to research what material to use, what tools are necessary, how to install the new materials, how to replace the gutters or how to get gutter service done to repair them, and much more. Contractors and their teams come with that knowledge already learned. Having an entire team and a contractor to work with will get that project to the finish line much faster than it would if you were doing it on your own.
This is similar if you are in need of a residential garage door opener for your home. While you may enjoy trying to figure out how to do this yourself, even if you are mechanically advanced or a bit of a technology wiz, it’ll be much easier and faster if you call a contractor and they come and install your automatic door opener themselves. Not only that, but this with be a worthwhile investment for when it comes time to sell, which could wind up saving you money in the long run.
A Contractor Can Save You Money
Choosing the right contractor could save you money on your project in the long run. Because you’ll have decided on a budget from the beginning, they will know what materials and services will fit in and will work to keep everything within that budget. They can buy materials at a wholesale price and will know where to cut back and spend more to make your money stretch as far as possible. For example, if you have a water damage repair project you need help with, a contractor will know where to go to get materials to replace the damaged wood and other elements the first time around. If you were working on the project yourself, you could run the risk of wasting materials or time as you learned how to do the project. While paying a contractor upfront costs more, you will save money as you stick to your budget and avoid costly beginner mistakes.
A Contractor Is Insured
When you’re working with a contractor, you’ll have the peace of mind to know that they are insured and that if something goes wrong with the project, there is coverage. For example, if you were working on a project to install new doors and accidentally broke one of your sliding glass doors, you would be out the money to buy a new one. If you’re working with a contractor and the door breaks during the work, it is covered and will be replaced by the business.
Some people choose to work with multiple different handymen from different companies on their home remodel projects. This could save them money upfront, but if issues arise, will cost more in the long run. When working with a single contractor, all of the workers on the project are covered under their insurance and you can rest easy knowing that protection is there. When working with an insured contractor, your project is in a safer position.
A Contractor Can Offer Design Services
Working with a contractor will help you to bring your vision for your home remodeling project to life. They will be able to direct you on what is possible, what isn’t possible, and what can be done to reach the vision you have.
It can be difficult as someone that is inexperienced or doesn’t have building know-how to know what is possible. Your contractor can either help you reel in your vision to what is truly possible, or help you find alternatives to get an even more successful result.
For example, if you have a basement remodeling project that you need help with, you may have a vision of living space for your family to spend time in, but aren’t sure what all you can add or how to make it happen. A contractor could help by showing images of similar work they’ve done previously to help you have a more clear vision. They’ll also be able to give you ideas such as where you could install an extra bathroom, how to get more natural lighting even with limited windows, and much more.
Working with a contractor will allow you to reach the best possible outcome for your home remodel, and even something better than you could have imagined.
Choosing The Right Contractor
Make A Plan
Before you start the process of choosing the right contractor for your home renovation project, you need to have a plan. Crating a plan that accounts for things such as the changes you want to be made, what your end goal for your home project is, what your budget and timeline are, and any other circumstances specific to your situation is key to having a successful home remodel. It will also help you clearly communicate with your contractor about your vision and the budget you will be sticking too.
This will also help as you sort through different contractors. If a contractor isn’t willing to stick to your vision, they are not the right choice for your home remodeling project.
Referrals and Reviews
After you’ve made a plan for your remodeling project, you’re reading to move on to the actual selection process. While a simple google search will likely yield quite a few results for general contractors in your area, you’ll have a harder time sifting through the good and the bad. That’s why it’s beneficial to start by getting referrals from family and friends. Talking with someone about their experience using a general contractor in their kitchen remodeling project will put you much farther in the searching process than any google search could. And the opposite is the same, if you have a work colleague who had a bad experience with a general contractor, you’ll know to cross that option off your list.
If you can’t get any referrals from friends and family, online reviews will be your next best choice. For example, if you’re looking for a general contractor to work with on a roof maintenance project, finding five-star reviews from people who have had a great experience using a specific contractor for that same type of project will be valuable. Remember to be careful with online reviews, however. Even if a contractor does great work, there can be negative reviews from people who didn’t work well with them. That’s why the next step will be helpful.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of options, it’s time to take a more serious look at the contractors you’re left with. A big part of choosing the right contractor for your home remodeling project is checking out the credentials and previous experience they have. A contractor may be a five star, top-notch option, but if you need help installing a septic system on your property and they’ve never worked on a project like that, they may not be the right option for you.
When you are narrowing your list and conducting research on your options, make sure to look over their reviews and any images on their site of previous projects to get an idea of what kind of projects they have worked on. About 35% of remodeling jobs involve the entire home, so chances are most contractors will have a variety of skills and abilities they specialize in. It’s just a matter of finding the best choice for your specific project.
You’ll also want to pay attention to any extra certification or training they may have. This could be the determining factor between two very qualified choices.
The final step before hiring a contractor is to meet with them and talk face to face. If possible, limit the number of interviews you have to about three. The more meetings you have, the more information you’ll have to remember, and the higher the chance you could mix up facts and make the process more overwhelming.
Don’t make any decisions before you have met with all of your options. The key to choosing the right contractor for your home remodeling project is to weigh out all possible options before you make a final decision. Even if you love the first contractor, attend each of the other planned interviews. You’ll want to get bids from each contractor, an estimate for a timeline, as well as discuss your vision to see if they support it. For example, if you’re replacing the windows and doors in an older home you just purchased and have a specific idea for the style you want, you’ll want to know from the start if your contractor can help to execute that vision and if they’re willing to. If you hire a contractor that only does what they think is best and disregards your ideas, you will be disappointed in the end.
Besides getting the general information such as prices and timelines, you will want to have more questions prepared to discuss with the contractor. You’ll want to get an idea of how they communicate and what you can expect when working with them. Here are some examples of questions you could ask when choosing the right contractor for your home remodeling project:
- How long have you been in business?
- May I see your license and certificate of insurance?
- What is the best means of communication?
- What does an average working day look like?
- Where will tools be stored during the project?
- What steps will you take to protect my property?
- Will a dedicated team be working on my project or will it change each day?
Once you have made the decision, congratulations! This is a big step forward in your home remodeling project. Your contractor will prepare a contract for your project. Make sure to take the time to look it over. While it’s unlikely they are trying to pull any tricks, you need to make sure your expectations are met and a good way to do that is by having a clear and correct contract. Depending on the size of and total price for the project, you may want to have your lawyer look over the contract as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Once you feel good about it and have communicated clearly, you’re ready to sign off and get your project started.
Choosing the right contractor for your home remodeling project will have a big impact on the overall turnout. The job will get done faster, it could save you money overall, you’ll rest easy knowing the project is insured, and it could turn out even better than you imagined. As long as you follow the previously listed recommendation for choosing the right contractor, you’ll be well on your way to a successful home remodel.