How to Choose a Remodeling Contractor
When it comes to remodeling your home, finding the right contractor is one of the most important things you can do. The wrong choice can end up costing you money, time and stress. It is important to choose a contractor with the right experience, knowledge and a solid reputation.
To start, you should do a search for contractors in your area. You can look at their websites, their portfolios, and read testimonials and reviews. Make a list of the candidates that you like and narrow it down to three or five.
Your shortlist should include a contractor who is licensed and insured. A professional contractor will not cut corners on these two areas, and he or she should also carry an indemnity clause.
If you are considering hiring a general contractor for your remodel, make sure he or she is a member of industry organizations, such as the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI). NARI offers a Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS) and Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC) designation. These certifications show a commitment to professionalism and standards of practice.
General remodeling contractors have a wide range of skills, but their main focus is on remodels. They are skilled carpenters and are well trained in framing, drywall, and flooring. Some contractors can also hire subcontractors.
One of the best ways to determine whether or not a particular remodeling contractor is the right fit for your project is to examine his or her portfolio. This should contain pictures of previous work, as well as sketches and plans. Also, check the number of projects completed. Contractors with a good portfolio will have ten or more projects in their portfolio.
Before you schedule an in-home appointment with a potential contractor, make sure to ask for his or her license and insurance credentials. Many states require a contractor to be licensed and insured, so it is important to do this.
You should also ask to see the portfolios of previous projects, and be sure to include photos before, during, and after the remodeling. While there are many websites that feature a contractor’s portfolio, having a physical copy of it is a better idea.
The final budget should also take into consideration the size of the room and the structural changes you want to make. A contractor who has experience with these types of projects will be able to give you a reasonable estimate of the cost.
Finally, it is a good idea to choose a contractor who provides a dedicated team. This could be a project manager, subcontractors, and even employees of the contractor. In addition, the contractor should have a certificate of insurance, workers’ compensation, and a list of indemnity clauses.
Although it is not an official designation, a remodeling contractor is a necessary partner in your quest to improve your home. He or she will see your project through and help you get the most out of your investment. But be wary of unsavory contractors who may not require change orders. Changes to fabrication and design can add to the cost of the project, as well as delay the job.