How to Find a Good Remodeling Contractor
A remodeling contractor specializes in improving an existing building, usually a home or office, to provide a new appearance and increase functionality. They may work on small renovation projects like a kitchen remodel, or larger scale projects such as commercial and multi-unit residential remodels.
Remodeling contractors can also perform more complicated tasks, such as installing plumbing systems and electrical systems. They can even build entire decks. Most remodeling jobs involve multiple specialty areas.
When looking for a remodeling contractor, you need to do your homework. The best way to find a qualified professional is through word of mouth. You can ask your friends and family for recommendations, or do a search online. For example, you can visit the website of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. These sites offer tips for finding a good remodeling contractor.
In addition to the obvious credentials, you should also check out the licensing and insurance credentials of your potential remodeling contractor. Some states require that a contractor be licensed or carry liability insurance. Check the license status of the company in your state and request a certificate of insurance before your initial in-home consultation.
Other important items to ask your potential contractor include whether or not the contractor has an in-house design team. Many companies have an in-house designer who works closely with you to design your remodel. If your project is large, you’ll need to establish a good rapport with the contractor and his or her crew.
Another item to consider is the company’s portfolio. This includes images of the completed project, a sample of the contractor’s work, and pictures of the plans and blueprints. It also demonstrates the contractor’s creativity.
One other factor to keep in mind is the contractor’s level of customer service. An experienced home remodeler will be able to address any complaints, offer comprehensive contracts, and provide an overall overview of your project.
Lastly, look for a remodeling contractor with a portfolio and a website. Ideally, the contractor will have a showroom, where you can see examples of their work. While this may not be possible for everyone, you can find out more about the quality of the contractor’s work from his or her clients.
Before signing a contract, be sure to look into the contract’s payment terms. Some contractors require upfront payments, which can cause a problem if you’re not ready to start your project. Your contractor should also be able to handle any unexpected events. Having this information in writing, and knowing that your contractor has back-ups, will help you to get the most out of your investment.
Choosing a good remodeling contractor is not as difficult as you might think. Do your homework, ask the right questions, and you’ll be rewarded with a happy and successful home improvement experience.
In addition to the standard contractor licensing and insurance questions, you’ll want to consider the contractor’s level of experience. You should find out if the contractor is a member of industry associations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Membership in these organizations demonstrates that the contractor is serious about his or her craft.