Use the following questions to determine whether the remodeler you are considering is appropriate for you and your project:
CONSTRUCTION AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE Does the remodeler:
- Have a working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area?
- Does the remodeler offer an array of options and thus demonstrate knowledge of and experience with a variety of products?
- Specialize in particular types of projects?
- Arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work.)
- Offer a warranty? If so, what kind and for how long? What is covered under the warranty and what is not?
- Agree to begin and complete your job within your timetable?
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND COMMUNICATION Does the remodeler
- Respond promptly to your inquiries?
- Provide an emergency after-hours phone number to reach the remodeler or a qualified representative?
- Emphasize service and develop a trusting relationship with you?
- Listen to and understand your needs and wants and work with you to ensure that the plans accurately reflect your expectations?
- Show examples of how the company has solved similar space problems for other customers?
- Facilitate communication among all parties involved in the project?
- Plan to provide you with schedule updates so you can make appropriate decisions and prepare for unavoidable inconveniences?
- Have a message center in house for communication between you and the remodeling team – including the independent trade contractors?
REPUTATION AMONG INDUSTRY PROS
Goodwill among suppliers, trade contractors, lenders, and other industry peers usually indicates fairness, reliability, and professionalism. Consider conversations with the remodeler’s lender, the local home builders association or Remodelers Council, other organizations he or she belongs to, and major suppliers. If he/she has a great reputation you will hear about it in enthusiastic, glowing terms.
An extremely low bid may indicate lack of experience and an inability to later cover the actual costs involved in the job.