You’ve been thinking about your renovation plans for months now. These plans in your head that you frequently toy with may seem too daunting to take on your own, but with the right contractor, you could have it all done in no time.
Think of hiring a contractor like hiring an employee. You don’t hire the first person you see; you shop around, compare past work, and see whose ideas you generally like. With these great tips, we’re here to help make choosing the contractor easier. We’ll break down these tips into two blog posts to give you a fully comprehensive list. Here are the first three steps to finding the right contractor for your home remodel.
Make a List
The first step is to get recommendations and do your own research to compile a list. You will want your list to have at least 10–15 companies to choose from. You can later whittle it down, but you should give yourself a large pool to choose from.
For recommendations, you can ask friends, family, neighbors, and anyone who lives close by and has had some renovation done recently that they are happy with. You should also research online. Look at reviews and professional-looking websites with contact information and portfolios.
What to Avoid
Be wary of websites that have none or very few reviews. Also, websites that don’t have contact information or don’t have an active social media presence are troubling. Well-staffed contracting companies with a reputation to uphold will invest in their online presence.
Compare Their Work
Each contractor specializes in a certain type of work. Some may be excellent with redoing kitchens while some may shine when it comes to bathroom tiling. Make sure you choose contractors that specialize in the kind of work you want done.
Ask the contractors to send you portfolios. They may have physical portfolios, or they may give you links to websites to look at. A good portfolio should contain 10–12 projects. Make sure they are recent renovations. There should be before, after, and during pictures. Some portfolios may have blueprints and idea sketches too. Those will really help you get the feel for how the contractor’s mind works.
What to Avoid
Any portfolio where the images are not clear or too grainy should be struck off the list. A contractor who can’t maintain a professional portfolio is not worth your time. Also, if you don’t like the work in their portfolio, chances are you would like their actual work even less. Portfolios are supposed to showcase the contractor’s best work. If it’s not up to your standard, you are going to be disappointed later. Drop them from the list.
Legal Requirements Should Be Up to Date
Each state requires different licenses and certifications for various types of work. Get in touch with your local council or licensing office to find out about the requirements in your state. Have this information on hand before you ask the contractors on your list to provide you with copies of their licenses and certifications. Make sure they have the necessary documents, and that they are all updated.
What to Avoid
Anyone who doesn’t have the necessary licenses and certifications should be crossed off the list. If anyone is hesitant, tries to brush off your concerns, or takes too long in getting you the documents, you should mark them off as well.
These first three tips will get you started on the right path to a successful home renovation. Check our next blog to find the final three tips to choosing the best home remodeling contractor!