Contractors are crucial allies in the remodeling process. Nevertheless, finding a remodeling contractor may be difficult. Even though you have numerous options, you may not know how to choose the appropriate remodeling contractor.
The real question is, how does one select the ideal remodeling contractor for your specific job?
Following these easy steps will help you make sure your project is a pleasant one from start to finish when selecting a qualified contractor nearby.
1. SEEK REFERRALS
Begin by asking your family and friends for referrals. Then, find out whether they are a part of any professional or trade associations (i.e., promidatlantic.org). Focus on remodeling businesses that can demonstrate their prior experience working on projects like yours, preferably with references and work examples.
After obtaining referrals, call them, visit the contractor’s website or the Better Business Bureau and contact additional references to your liking.
2. VERIFY CREDENTIALS
Make sure they have all required licenses from federal, state, and local governments. This includes business license and general contractor license requirements.
In addition, see what their specialized qualifications and certification are. Not all certifications are made equal. You need to learn what the ideal contractor should have for your specific job.
Visit websites like HomeAdvisor, Houzz, Angie’s List, and their social media pages to read reviews and see additional examples of their previous work. When reading online reviews, concentrate on the descriptions of experiences and traits that are most significant to you as a consumer.
3. ASK QUESTIONS
- How long have they been in business?
- Can they give references from clients and vendors with whom they have done business?
- Do they have the appropriate liability, workers compensation and commercial vehicle insurance?
- Who will be responsible for providing permits?
- Do they offer a detailed scope of work and comprehensive contract that outlines a reasonable payment schedule and conforms with all applicable local, state, and federal laws?
4. OBTAIN ESTIMATES
Get written quotes from at least three contractors after speaking with them. Make sure you compare the building materials, construction techniques, schedules, and any other elements in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison. Be wary of estimates that are excessively high or low.
5. KEEP AN EYE ON THE DETAILS
Whether you are simply doing a repair or making plans for a significant redesign, the contractor must explain in detail what they will be doing before they start working. Ask them to describe the steps involved in the remodel and the reasoning behind their conclusions. Make sure it includes information about the materials (i.e. length, colors, styles). If it’s too vague, you won’t have any legal recourse if you’re not happy with the results.
6. IS IT A GOOD FIT?
Ensure that you get along with the contractor you choose. Setting clear expectations from the start will help your remodel go more smoothly. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your contractor, so you should trust and get along with them. Before signing anything, read all estimates and contracts in their entirety before making a sizable upfront deposit.
7. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
Before work begins, make sure to have everything in writing and that the contract is well-written and clear. If the project entails significant costs, think about having a lawyer analyze the proposed contract for your protection before you sign it. The agreement ought to state:
- A thorough scope of the work to be executed together with pricing for each component
- A payment schedule, such as initial deposit, progress payments and remaining balance payable after the project is completed
- The anticipated start and end dates
- Any applicable promises, which must be specified in writing in the contract and include information on what is promised, who is accountable for providing it, and how long it is valid.
- A signature from each party
All parties shall recognize any changes to the Agreement in writing. Request confirmation from the contractor that all necessary building permits have been secured.
8. MAINTAIN A JOB FILE
A single folder should contain your contract and all supporting paperwork. Any modification orders, blueprints, specifications, bills, invoices, canceled checks, insurance certificates, letters, notes, or other correspondence with the contractor should also be included in your file.
9. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL
Federal legislation may mandate a “cooling off” period during which you are free to cancel the agreement without incurring any fees. Make sure to abide by any laws when the cooling off period is in effect.
After the cooling off period passes, you must abide by the termination provision of a signed contract if you wish to cancel it. You might want to submit the cancellation notification via registered mail. To learn more about your rights, consult the laws of your State and the Federal Trade Commission.
10. FEEL PRESSURED? BIG NO-NO
If the contractor is pressuring you to sign right away, move on to the next. Trust your instincts. If something inside you whispers, “Not this guy,” pay attention to it.
Do your homework and learn as much as you can about their business. Before you authorize a contractor to begin working, always obtain a comprehensive contract and be fully aware of your rights and obligations before starting the project.
ENJOY YOUR NEW REMODEL!
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