Tips on How to Hire a Remodeler
Time to Remodel? Hire a Professional. NARI has been helping homeowners find quality remodelers for over 30 years. Here are some suggestions from professionals in the field.
Employ a contractor with an established business.
Start by searching the National Association of the Remodeling Industry at nari.org. You can search by zip code and also by specialty. You can also research names and background of qualified remodelers that may have been supplied by neighbors and friends to verify licensing and certifications.
Discuss your project with a couple remodelers.
Call a few remodelers from your list to talk about your project. Describe what you envision for the home remodel, styles you like, your estimated budget, and other ideas for the remodeling work. Ask the remodeler for references, and check out their website or brochure that describes their experience and accomplishments.
Ask questions about the contractor’s business.
Asking questions can help ensure you hire the best professional. Does the remodeler have a license, if required in your state? Do they have general liability insurance in case of an accident on the job? Ask to see a copy to verify coverage. Do they guarantee their work? How do they handle any problems that may arise on the project? Having these answers in advance will prevent future problems and nail down the best professional remodeler for the job.
Check the references and background of the remodeler.
It’s important to do some background research after you have selected the remodelers who match your project’s needs. Many states, but not all require contactors to be bonded. Check with the Better Business Bureau, talk to their references, and ask if they are a member of a professional or trade association (such as NARI). Remodelers with these qualities tend to be more reliable, better educated, and more likely to stay on top of construction, remodeling and design trends.
Don’t make the selection on price alone.
Many people are lured by the lowest price to their remodeling project, thinking that they have found a great deal. But be skeptical of unusually low prices. These bids may be more cost more in the end-especially if the contractor is cutting corners, not pulling permits, not calculating certain costs, or is inexperienced. Often, professional remodelers end up fixing remodels from unscrupulous contractors who did shoddy and unsafe work or failed to complete the job. Beware that the lowest price may not ultimately provide the best value for your home remodel.
Choosing Your Team
A design-build firm offers quality design and construction services within the same general contracting company. Because a design build contractor understands job costs as well as design concepts, the entire process is engineered to fit your budget and vision right from the very beginning.
Many home improvements do not require professional design services. Projects like porch construction, roofing, siding, and window replacement can be handled successfully by an experienced professional contractor with an intimate knowledge of materials and methods.
Major remodeling projects require construction drawings for defining a contract and procuring permits. In cases where your professional remodeler does not provide design services, you may wish to seek the assistance of a professional architect, preferably one with extensive remodeling experience.
Interior design consultants are trained to deal with more than the furnishings and finishes that go into a space and make it look wonderful. They help you to see the big picture (form and function) as well as balance your aspirations, functional needs and budget. This approach is based on listening, understanding and ultimately creating a space that exceeds your expectations.