How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Remodeling Project
Follow these best practices to help ensure you hire the right contractor for your home remodeling project.
When it comes to significant investments of any kind, there's nothing more important than doing your research. To feel completely confident about the team of contractors you hire to perform any work inside or around your home, you'll need to take several preliminary steps to make a reliable choice. If you want to get what you're paying for, use this guide to help vet and identify the right contractor for the job.
Not Just Any Referral
If this is your first time seeking a professional for a particular kind of work, getting referrals from trusted sources is a great starting point. You definitely don't want a repeat horror story on your hands but make sure you carefully note the unique service propositions offered by the contractors suggested by those in your network. When selecting contractors to bid on your project, ask your friends and neighbors about who they have used. Can you easily find reviews for them? If not, move on and look for a contractor that has a healthy number of client reviews or will offer you a list of past clients to contact.
Conduct an Interview
After gathering an initial list of names of companies, call around before making any other major decisions. You'll be able to more quickly rule out contractors that don't have prior experience with the job you have in mind or may not be able to fulfill the work within your requested timeline.
Be sure to thoroughly check out your prospective contractor’s social media and website to get a solid idea of the kind of work they do. Ask them to provide before and after photos of similar projects to yours. If all the images are stock images, you don’t see images that align with our project, or they push back on providing you a portfolio, move on!
Spend some time getting to know your contractor. Do they listen when you ask questions? Are you comfortable with your interactions with them? Do you think you’ll work well together over the course of your project? If the answer is no, move on! The right contractor will hit all of these marks and then some. It’s important you hire a contractor that you not only trust to get the job done but that you like. After all, they’re going to be in your home for several weeks and it’s important that you have a healthy working relationship with them.
After you've established some level of trust with the company, move forward with formal interviews to discuss the more intimate details of your project, and prioritize actually spending time on your property with the contractor and their team to introduce them to the worksite.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
The first questions you should ask before even sharing details about your home remodeling project should be geared toward credentials. Is the prospective contractor licensed and insured? Are they transparent about the approximate amount of work that will be delegated to subcontractors? You should also review the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any reports of complaints from previous clients to get the additional insight you may not have had via referrals from people you know personally. If a contractor meets any of the below criteria, they may not be right for the job:
- Did your proposal come in within a day or two after meeting with a contractor? If so, due diligence may not have been done when it comes to pricing the right materials and labor for your project. You should expect a 1-2 week turnaround for a detailed proposal.
- Does the price seem extraordinarily low? Ask the contractor why the cost is so low. Choosing the cheapest bid might seem like a good idea but could ultimately cost you much more in the long run due to sub-par materials, unpaid subcontractors, and poor workmanship.
- Lacking a permanent mailing address, e-mail address, or office phone number – this can signify a “fly-by-night” company.
- There is no evidence of professional or industry affiliations.
- The point of contact cannot provide you with a copy of insurance certificates to verify that you will be shielded from liability.
Homeowners can trust Steel Horse Constructors LLC to provide quality craftsmanship, professionalism, and knowledgeable recommendations during every home remodeling project. We’ve heard all the home renovation horror stories. Incomplete work, starting over with a new contractor, or repairing poor workmanship can significantly increase the cost of your project in both time and money. We've provided the community with best-in-class fencing, roofing, flooring, and other home improvement services. Speak to a member of our team today to request an estimate.