Remodeling contractors are licensed and insured specialists who turn home owners’ visions into reality. They work closely with clients to create realistic expectations and budget requirements, and then organize and supervise the project as they execute it.
They also need to be great at problem-solving, bringing multiple processes and teams together seamlessly for the benefit of all involved parties. They must be able to attract new clients, retain existing ones, and manage the project from start to finish.
There are many different subspecialties within the remodeling industry, and it is important to choose a profession that suits your skills and interests. For instance, some remodelers specialize in the renovation of existing buildings and infrastructure while others focus on building additions or overhauling exterior features like siding, windows, doors, and roofing.
When choosing a remodeling contractor, consider their certifications and experience. Ask for credentials such as CGR (Certified Graduate Remodeler) through the National Association of Home Builders or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) through the U.S. Green Building Council, says Gauldin. This shows that the contractor has taken extra steps to bolster their career and is committed to continuing education and professional growth in their field.
Another good way to find a qualified contractor is by asking friends and family about their own experiences. A word of caution, though: Some people may tell you that they hired a contractor from a referral, but that’s not always the case. It’s best to do a little background research on a contractor, and even to call the Better Business Bureau.
If you are in a new area, it’s also a good idea to ask around for recommendations from neighbors and friends. They might have already had a remodeling project done and could recommend a reliable contractor in the area.
Once you’ve found a few candidates, make sure to get their references and check out their work before signing a contract with them. This will help protect you from a costly mistake down the road.
Ensure that the contractor offers a warranty and carries insurance coverage for any work they do. These are both good things to have in case something goes wrong, and they will usually include a clause that states that the homeowner is entitled to repairs or replacements as needed during the lifetime of the contract.
It’s also a good idea to get an estimate from the contractor before you sign any agreement with him. You should get a written quote that details all the work to be done and a pay schedule.
You can also try to find out whether the contractor is a member of any trade associations or professional organizations. Membership in these organizations is an indicator that the contractor is serious about their work and wants to stay up to date on the latest industry trends, says Gauldin.
You can also use websites to research remodelers and see their reviews. Typically, you will find positive and negative reviews for each remodeler online. Some of these reviews will mention specific projects they completed or issues they encountered. Be aware of any unfavorable reviews, as they can provide valuable insights into the quality of the work and the contractor’s professionalism.