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Educational Consumer Tips

Remodeling & Renovation Contractors

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Home Improvement

Hiring a reliable remodeling contractor can help make the small project or complete transformation successful. It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate prospective remodelers before jumping into a project. Use these helpful tips below when searching to hire a remodeling contractor. 

Tips for Hiring a Remodeling and Renovation Contractor:

Ask Around.  Start your search by asking friends and family members who have a remodel you admire for suggestions. Use the National Association of the Remodeling Industry website to find a remodeler in the area. Check out the remodelers through to make sure they're in good standing.       
Interview Candidates.  Once you have compiled a list of remodelers, take time to call and ask a few questions about themselves and the remodel. Look for remodelers who conduct themselves in a professional manner. Be sure to ask how long they have been in business and if they are licensed and registered with the state. Get proof of their license and registration. Ask how many projects like yours the remodeler has completed and if the remodel will require a permit. If the project does require a permit, make sure the remodeler will be able to obtain the permit themselves before starting the project.  

Get Written Estimates.  Narrow the list down to at least three remodelers and meet with them to get a written estimate. Make sure to explain the project thoroughly and identically to each remodeler to get the most accurate estimates. Ask the remodeler to break down the estimate to see the cost of materials, labor, and other expenses. Don’t automatically go with the lowest bid, you want the remodel done by an experienced professional with quality materials.

Contact References.  Ask the remodeler to provide a list of references with projects similar to yours that you may contact. If possible, visit the previous consumers to check out the remodeler’s work in person. Ask the references if the project was completed according to schedule and if they were satisfied with their experience. Ask if the remodeler added unexpected costs throughout the project.

Ask if the Remodeler Will Use Subcontractors.  If the remodeler plans to hire subcontractors to work on the project make sure they have up-to-date licenses and insurance. Ask to meet with the subcontractors before they start working on the remodel.  

Discuss a Payment Schedule.  Try to keep the down payment at 10% of the cost. Be wary of remodelers who ask for a large down payment. Make the payments correspond with the amount of work that has been completed. Only make the final payment once you are completely satisfied with the project and have thoroughly inspect all of the work.  

Get a Written Contract.  Make sure the contract includes: the remodeler’s information, estimated start and end date, payment schedule, list of products and materials being used, and warranties for the work and materials. Discuss how the cleanup will be handled once the project is completed and be sure to include it in the contract. It is also important to protect yourself and your home by adding a lien release to the contract.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

Questions and Comments

Comment Submitted 4/1/2014

Very well versed. I have done some work for your company under the employment of * ** ***** **** I have recently parted ways with the company. And have reopened my own company again that I had shutdown after a 14 year hiatus. I agree with your tip and practice the same honest ,reputable practices myself . I truly believe that any business run with good core values will always be successful. Through thick and thin economic times. Its all about hard work !

Comment Submitted 5/5/2015

tips were helpful
Views expressed on this page are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Business Bureau.

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