When it is time to make some major changes in your home, installing cabinets, removing a wall or fixing a loose tile the bathroom is simple. The struggle to find a remodeler that fits your budget, timeline and temperament can be more difficult. Even with the best contractor, renovations can reveal unpleasant surprises like rotten subfloors or ancient, tangled electrical wires. Finding a contractor to share your vision for a successful home renovation project. Here are tips to help you find one who will get the job done right.
Know What You Want BEFORE You Get Estimates.
Start with a plan and some ideas, don’t start by talking to contractors.
Start collecting your ideas in one place. Do you have helpful documents like the original blueprints from your home or any prior renovations? Clip magazine pages or get on Pinterest and create a collection of images. Notice the restaurants, hotels, or stores that have the vibe’ you are trying to achieve. Use this information to observe how all the candidates incorporate your input into their bids.
Ask For Referrals
Word of mouth is always the best way to find a qualified professional. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for references. People in your neighborhood who have done similar projects are excellent sources. Ask any friends and acquaintances in the building trades. Employees of local hardware stores see contractors day in and day out: tap their knowledge
Look At Credentials
With several suggestions now, do some preliminary research. Visit the contractor’s website or call by phone. Confirm all the required licenses from state and local municipalities or any designations from all appropriate professional associations. Look for contractors who have invested in additional coursework and earned rigorous certifications. Confirm that the prospects maintain a permanent mailing address, e-mail address, and local phone numbers.
Ask the contractor to share a copy of his license and copies of the licenses of the major subcontractors who will work on the job. Determine what work will be done by the contractor’s employees and what work will be done by subcontractors. Ask for an employee list to make sure the contractor really has the employees on the payroll and won’t be using casual labor hired off the street. Talk to both clients and subcontractors, who can tell you if the contractor pays them on time.
When you have narrowed the field to 2-4 potentials, set up meetings. Choose the right contractor for the right project. Your neighbor’s amazing new deck does not require the same skills as finishing out our basement. You want to find a company that routinely does the kind of project you want to be done.
Expect a contractor might be too busy to start right away. The best folks are booked in advance BUT they should respond to a request in a day or two. If you don’t get a call in 48 hours, it may be a sign that the contractor doesn’t have enough time to take on your project. Communication goes both ways; candidates should ask plenty of questions, too.
Read online reviews, but don’t consider that enough information; reading reviews does not substitute for those phone calls. Check the disciplinary boards, Better Business Bureau and local court records for problems.
Ask to see some of the contractors’ projects. If you approve of them, request references and call contractors’ former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractors did at executing the projects and would they rehire.
Take the extra step to call that 1-800 number to verify that their insurance policies are in effect.
Get It In Writing
When you compare bids, make sure each one includes the same materials and the same tasks. Get three bids, even if you have a favorite, so you’ll have a second (and third) opinion.
And lastly, compare the details on different bids. Make sure your contract specifies: deadlines, progress payments, the exact materials. If the builder’s contract is not detailed enough, ask to write up your own or provide addendums. At this point in your search, you are looking for professionalism and whether you will work well together.
Your Choice In Houston
The professionals at Century Construction Services are certified, insured, professionally trained, and highly experienced. Every client relationship centers on design and construction that improves the look and the value of the property. Century Construction Services is based in Magnolia and serves the greater Houston area along with San Antonio, Austin, Dallas. Contact at (832) 626-4419, or visit centuryconstructionservices.com