A successful remodeling project begins with choosing the reliable contractor. The right contractor will understand exactly what is expected, use the best materials and constructions methods and complete the job on time and at a fair price. The following checklist will be helpful in ensuring the job is put in the hands of the best contractor:
- Ask family and friends to recommend a contractor whose finished result delighted them. Check the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of registered and licensed contractors. Local building inspectors can also assist with a list of contractors who have consistently adhered to local building code requirements.
- Call the preferred contractors, after coming up with a short list based on recommendations from these sources. Over the phone, they’ll answer questions about the type of project to be done, references from previous customers and how many projects they are currently handling. It’s also important to know whether they use their own staff or work with sub-contractors. In which case it maybe necessary to do some homework on the sub-contractor as well. The aim is to establish reliability and availability.
- Take another precaution and check to see if any of the contractors has been reported to the Better Business Bureau. The state’s consumer protection agency can also give information about any disputes filed by clients. Then pick 2 or 3 contractors and arrange for them to visit the site.
- A professional contractor will work with a complete set of design prints, so they understand every detail of the job and the desired outcome. The contractors will bid on the job. The quote should include the type and quantity of materials to be used, labor, insurance for the workers and other expenses. As a general rule, materials should make up 40% of the total cost and the contractor’s profit margin should make up 15% to 20%. The rest should go towards overhead. A contractor should be chosen because of their previous completed jobs, their reputation with previous clients, a clean record with the Better Business Bureau and state consumer protection agency.
- The next step is to make a payment schedule with the chosen contractor. Their requirements will give insight into their work ethic and financial status. A request for a deposit of more than 50% may indicate financial problems. Generally speaking, contractors should ask for 10% when the contract is signed for a big job, three payments of 25% to be made over the duration of the project and the last 15% when the job is done.
- After reaching an agreement about the payment, everything should be put down in a comprehensive contract. Apart from the payment schedule, the contract should also specify a start and completion date, proof of worker’s compensation payments and liability insurance and the precise quality and quantity of materials to be used.
Have questions about a room addition or home remodel? Please contact us we’re happy to answer your questions.