11 Jul An Easy Guide to Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Contractor
Building contractors may be a dime a dozen, but finding the right company is easier said than done. Every home remodeling project is unique. What worked for your neighbor two houses down may not work for you, especially if your construction projects are of varying scales and focus. Referrals and recommendations are great starting points, but eventually you’re going to have to branch out and make a conscious choice—otherwise your remodel could end up a complete disaster.
That said, here’s a guide to finding—and hiring—the best home building contractor for you.
Begin Your Search as Soon as Possible
You’ll need to give yourself time to go through the market and check out all viable options for building contractors. To avoid rushing through the selection, start your search six to eight months before your planned construction date. Half a year may seem like a lot of time, but it’s better having a little extra leeway than none whatsoever.
Pelt Them With Questions
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Most homeowners avoid grilling the company too much because they don’t want to come off as rude or overbearing. As a potential client, it’s your right to ask, especially since it’s your house on the line.
Once you have the basics out of the way—i.e. experience, expectations, licenses—you can begin asking questions specifically tailored to your remodeling project. For instance:
- Do you offer warranty? If so, what does it cover?
- Who will be my point person/main person to contact throughout the project?
- Have you done anything like this before?
- Are you confident you can achieve the desired outcome?
- Are you going to be transparent with all the costs and fees?
Narrow Down Your Choices
Once you’ve got a rough laundry list of all the companies you want to work with, whittle it down to just one or two finalists. Here are some factors you should consider when weighing your contenders:
- Company Profile & Pricing—how does the company look as a whole? Do they come off as professional and competent, or haphazard and sketchy? Are their prices fair for the services they offer, or are they charging too much for too little? This variable depends heavily on gut instinct and your own personal opinion.
- Reviews/Testimonials—what do others have to say about the company? Do they have testimonials to back up their claims? Do they have a lot of previous clients, and are their reviews stellar?
- Experience & Expertise—how long have they been in the industry? How many major projects have they completed since they started out? What about the individual career history of their building contractors? What are their areas of expertise and their own level of experience?
- Personality—how compatible and comfortable are you with the building contractors in this company? Are they friendly and easy to talk to, or do you feel like you’re bothering them every time you have a question?
- Communication—how easy is it to communicate with the contractors? How often do they initiate communication in the form of updates, check-ins, and the like? How do they plan to communicate before, during, and after the project? Do they have a specific online channel or portal for emails, messages, information exchange, and file sharing?
- Contract Completion Process—how does the contractor choose to complete the project? Using the traditional ‘design-bid-build,’ or the far more modern ‘design-build’? The former approach separates design and construction into two services, meaning you get a separate contract—and bid—for design, and a separate contract-plus-bid for the actual construction. Design-build, on the other hand, combines both services and treats them as one entity. There are pros and cons to both options, and only you can safely judge which one will benefit your project overall.
Picking a contracting company to handle your home remodeling project can be a little daunting, but that’s no reason to do it half-heartedly. After all, when it comes to large-scale construction projects, regret can be extremely costly. Putting in the legwork, the time, and the extra effort to find the best possible building contractors for you will definitely pay off in the long run.