What To Look For In A Remodeler

What To Look For In A Remodeler

When remodeling your home it is so very important to do choose the right remodeling contractor for you.  Take your time to find the one that is the perfect fit for you and your home. It is important that you base your decision on professionalism, not price. If you want your project to go smoothly and the outcome to meet your expectations, then hire someone who takes their profession seriously.

Listed below are characteristics/qualifications to consider:

Years in Business

Anyone may be able to purchase a truck and some tools, but only professional remodelers have the skills to remain in business for the long haul. By understanding the practice and business of home remodeling, a professional can manage changes in the market and return to service your home for years to come. Use a remodeling company you can trust to fix problems and keep a home in good health for the long term.

Also, a financially sound business usually takes 3 – 5 years to establish.  Find a remodeler whose experience matches the scope of work you are planning.  For example, if your job will involve coordination of many trades, look for a remodeler who has a strong network of subcontractor affiliates.

Licensed and Insured

Check with your state’s licensing agency and local building inspectors to verify the remodeler has the appropriate license(s).  All professional home remodelers should be insured and able to display a certificate proving possession of insurance.  Hire only a remodeler who carries workers’ compensation as required by law and general liability insurance.  This coverage protects you if a worker is injured on your job.

Permanent Business Location

A permanent business location is a good indicator of stability, but plenty of fine remodelers operate out of offices in their homes. Avoid a contractor who uses only a post office box and is reluctant to give you an actual address.

A Written Contract

Even a small job should require a legally binding document that spells out the terms and conditions of your agreement. A professional remodeler will insist on a detailed document with all aspects of the job in writing.

References and Recommendations

Does the remodeler have a trustworthy reputation in the community, with previous customers and with local building supply companies? Ask the home remodeler to share names, phone numbers, and/or email addresses of some customers and take the time to see the home remodeler’s work.

Professional Affiliations

Look for a remodeling contractor who is active in professional and trade organizations.  These organizations have a strict code of ethics:  the National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council (NAHB-RC), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

Educational Designations

Some educational distinctions include NAHB’s Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS); NARI’s Certified Remodeler (CR), etc. These programs emphasize business management as the foundation for success. Completing this coursework indicates that the remodeler has met the industry’s highest standards.

Reputation Among Industry Peers

Ask for a list of building materials suppliers and call them to see if the remodeler has an account or pays for materials on delivery. Goodwill among suppliers, subcontractors, lenders, and other industry peers usually indicates fairness, reliability and professionalism.

Readily Accessible by Phone

Are phone calls returned promptly?  Are appointments kept?  During business hours, is the office phone answered by the remodeler, a staff person or is it answered by voicemail or an answering service?

Rapport

You and your family will be in close contact with the remodeler and the crew until the project is completed. Are you comfortable with these people?  Do you communicate easily?  Does the remodeler relate well to all the project’s decisionmakers and show respect and genuine concern for family members?

If a remodelr has the necessary qualifications and a great personality, he or she is probably a fine choice. But be sure your comfort is based on professional criteria and not just charisma.

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