If your goal is a professional remodeling project; then yes, your best bet is to hire a professional remodeler. The extra cost will pay for itself in the satisfaction you receive while the project is in progress and during the many years you will enjoy the completed project.
Experience – Ask how long the remodeler has been in business. Longevity suggests financial stability, which is necessary for the remodeler to finish the job and still be available if problems crop up after the job is completed. Also, the more jobs the company has completed, the more expertise the remodeler will bring to your project and the hidden surprises that remodeling typically entails.
Reputation – Look to the remodelers’ former and current customers to gauge the company’s reputation. Obtain the names and phone numbers of customers you can call to get their impressions of the company’s work and customer service. Call them and make personal visits to see the work they had done. Even better, get references from customers whose projects were similar to the one your family is planning. Also, go visit one of the company’s jobs in progress to evaluate how they manage the construction process and how tidy they keep the job site. Ask whether these homeowners would hire the company again.
Business Credentials – A good place to start your search for a remodeler is with your local builders association and its affiliated local Remodelers Council. Participation demonstrates a remodeler’s commitment to professionalism and to the remodeling industry. Many trade groups also confer professional credentials, such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), to those who meet their requirements, which is a positive indicator of the remodeler’s reputation.
License and Insurance – Ask to see a copy of the remodeler’s license, if your state has such requirements. It is also important to verify that the remodeler carries workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Have the remodeler show you copies of both insurance certificates to protect yourself from liability in situations involving job site injuries or property damage resulting from the work being done on your home.