If you’re finally ready for that dream home remodeling project, your first step is to find a contractor who will make it all come true for you. If you’ve never done this before, the process part can be intimidating. But don’t worry. It won’t be rocket science, but you do have to make a few careful considerations to make sure that you end up with the right contractor.
First and foremost, find someone who makes you comfortable around them. Even if you’ve found the “best contractor in town,” he won’t be good enough for you if you don’t even like him. Does he pay attention when you talk about your plans for the project? Does he consider your ideas or does he dismiss them? The contractor may be the pro, but no matter how you look at it, you’re still the boss.
Without a doubt, experience matters. Check out online reviews and ask your prospects for client references. Give these folks a call and ask them to tell you about their experience with the contractor. If they can forward some pictures of the finished job, that would be even better.
Solid Work Ethics
Nobody wants a project that drags on unnecessarily. 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, does he show up on time for an appointment? Does he treat you with respect? When he visits your home, is he careful not to soil 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 Adequate Insurance Coverage
Accidents can happen. When they do, you’d like to be as liability-free as possible, whether someone is injured or there’s property damage. The contractor must be licensed and insured, both for liability and worker’s compensation.
A Solid Bid
A solid bid will include a breakdown of all your costs, from materials to labor to profit margins and other expenses. Of course, you want to know exactly where your cash is going. The contractor should be attentive when you talk about what you want, and you should draw plans together.
Schedule of Payments
The payment schedule can vary from one contractor to another. 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, the schedule must be expressed clearly in the contract. Avoid anyone who asks for a minimum of 50% upfront. If you’re not very sure, don’t hesitate to ask for someone’s help, perhaps a friend or relative who has more experience or knowledge with home remodeling contracts.