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Hiring a remodeling contractor can be intimidating. After all, sometimes it can seem like there are as many options out there as there are horror stories. The question is, how does one sort through everything in order to find the perfect fit for your project.
If you're getting ready to start a big remodel, we’re here to help. We've put together a list of tips for hiring remodeling contractors that will help you ensure your project is a pleasant experience from start to finish.
1. Do Your Homework
This rings true for both your project itself and the individual you're hiring. For the remodel, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what you want the end result to look like and a realistic budget of what you’re prepared to spend.
For the contractor, you want to focus on individuals who can show prior experience with your type of project, preferably with testimonials and work samples. You’ll also want to find people who are both accredited and insured.
2. Interview Multiple Contractors
Once you have found two or three contractors that seem capable of doing the work, you’ll want to interview them. Ask them questions such as whether or not they've ever taken on a project of this scale if they feel confident in their ability to pull the necessary permits for the job, and how long they envision everything will take.
As they interview, be sure to listen to their answers for assuredness and professionalism. Since contractors will often be coming into your home, you want to choose someone that you’re comfortable with and who also seems capable of completing the work.
3. Get Quotes
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After completing your interviews, feel free to ask anyone that you’re still considering to provide a quote for the project. The quote should include the cost of materials for the remodel, as well as a price for the estimated number of labor hours.
Keep in mind that the lowest option may not always be your best pick. Do your homework in regards to how much a remodel like yours typically costs. Be sure to take factors like experience and available work samples into account. Sometimes a larger upfront cost is worth it in the long run if it means a hassle-free transaction.
4. Put it in Writing
Once you’ve settled on the contractor that you feel is the best fit for your job, make sure to get the terms of their quote into a legally binding contract. This contract should include items like a payment schedule and the process that should be followed for making changes to the original project terms. It should also be signed by both parties.
Though no one wants to think of a bad outcome, having a signed contract will give you an avenue for legal recourse in the event that something goes awry during the course of your remodel. Keep in mind that true professionals will understand that having terms in writing will provide protection for you both.
5. Be Flexible to a Point
Unfortunately, remodeling will never be an exact science. Even the best contractors will sometimes run into unforeseen problems once they open up walls or in-climate weather may slow down speedy progress. Homeowners should expect a little wiggle room in terms of budget and timeframe.
That being said, there is a limit. If the person you’ve hired keeps pushing your project aside for other ventures or racking up charges that don’t make sense, you shouldn’t be afraid to find someone else to finish the job.
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Choosing a contractor is always a big decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s insurmountable. We’ve put together a list of tips for hiring remodeling contractors that will allow you to make an informed decision. We hope that these tips will allow you to consistently select a contractor that’s the best fit for your scenario.