With friends and family spread across the country, I get asked frequently about what to look for in a remodeling contractor. Here’s the advice I give those near and dear to my heart.
- Always Start with Referrals – Your relatives, friends, and neighbors are your very best resource. Talk to anyone who has recently had work done. See who they’ve used and what they thought. Ask if their project was completed on time and within budget. Find out what the planning process was like and how the contractor left their home at the end of the project. As wonderful as testimonials are, it’s the folks you know who are going to give it to you straight. And when you’re having work done, that’s what you need.
- Verify Credentials – Based on the list you’ve created, do some research. Which contractors have the licenses and credentials required by the state and local municipalities? You never want to hire someone who isn’t certified and legally qualified to do the work. This could put you and your financial assets in serious risk.
- Meet with Potential Contractors – No matter how small the project may seem, you will be working closely with the contractor you choose. Together, you’ll discuss options and talk about goals. They will be in your home. They’ll likely be emailing, calling, and texting you regularly. While you don’t have to be best buds with your remodeling contractor, it’s ideal to get along with and trust them. The last thing you want is to work with someone whose calls you duck because you just don’t want to hear their voice.
- View Their Work – If possible, go physically see a few of their projects. It is especially helpful to see a project that is similar to your own.
- Talk Budget – You’ve probably been dreaming about your update. That’s awesome. I’d never recommend you meet with someone if you didn’t have some sort of goal in mind. However, before you let your dreams run too wild, talk the contractor about your budget. Ask them what they believe is possible with the funds you have available.
- Get It In Writing – Most of us probably have a grandfather or a great uncle who used to say, “When I was a boy, we shook on deals and that was enough.” Times have changed. Handshake deals can quickly go sideways and leave the homeowner – you – in a world of hurt. Once you’ve selected your remodeling contractor and agreed to a plan, make sure you get the plan in writing and signed by both you and the contractor.
Curious what specific credentials a Tucson remodeling contractor should have? Shoot me a note. I have a full list hanging in my office.