Finding a contractor is arguably the most important part of your home remodel planning. If you choose the wrong contractor, you could end up over-budget, behind schedule, and very distressed by the end of your project. On the other hand, if you find the right contractor, you'll end up very happy with the work done and right on track with your budget and timeline. If you're interviewing several contractors, these are some things to look for:
- Come to the interview prepared. Before you talk to anyone, make sure you know exactly what you want. If you talk to a contractor too soon, they may convince you of projects you may or may not need, and will not have a good idea themselves on exactly what to quote you for.
- Take your time. No matter who you choose, contractors will not be able to start on your project the day after you call them. So take your time choosing one. You want to wait at least a week after interviewing all your candidates so they have advance notice of a potential job, and you have ample time to think about your decision.
- Get references from multiple sources. The contractors you hire will likely have references from their most happy clients. But you should also ask friends, look for reviews online (from third party sites), and see who has the greatest quantity of positive reviews. Then compare the perceived value to the cost of services.
- Ask if the company will provide all services, or if they hire subcontractors. Some construction companies will use the same employees, while other hire out subcontractors to complete work on a job-by-job basis. There are pros and cons to both employees and subcontractors, but regardless this is good information to have.
- Read over contracts carefully. Make sure you are fully prepared before the job starts. Know which permits you need, if you're liable for injuries on your property or if the company has workmen’s insurance. Also understand how you will be billed, and how much of your budget the labor and materials will cost.
It's a plus if you can find a contractor you already know. Many remodel and renovation contractors are self employed, and while you may pay a little extra per hour or job, you'll be able to work one on one with the person or team to get the exact results you want. However hiring a professional company will take out the inherent risks of hiring someone self employed, or a day laborer.
If you're looking for moore design inspiration or remodel advice, check out Naffco Flooring & Interiors blog and social media! We provide professional opinions and advice to help you get through any home improvement project. Still have questions? Call your local Naffco store today!