When you first bought your home, it was nice and shiny and open to your creative possibilities, But as time grew, your home started to lose its luster, stuff started falling apart, and the same love you had for your home at first, soon started to fade. It was in that moment that you knew it was time to bring your home back to life with some new renovations.
Whether you want a new outdoor living space or a brand new kitchen, renovations have the power to completely transform your home and take it from old and outdated to modern! That just goes to show you that you don’t have to build your home from the ground up to have your dream home… You can just renovate it.
But the only way you’re going to see true success from renovations is if you choose the right contractor to handle the job for you.
Home renovations have been notorious for putting stress on homeowners, but with the right contractor, they’ll make the whole process as seamless as possible. But before you can get started on your renovations, you have to go through the process of actually finding the right contractor to take on your renovations.
You, of course, aren’t just going to hire anybody… So how do you know who to hire? What exactly makes one contractor more qualified than another?
Well, there are a few factors you need to consider and definitely some important questions to ask. Ideally, you want to have three to five contractors to compare, and from those, you should be able to find the best one within your local area.
If this is your first time undergoing something as major as a house renovation, here are some of the top considerations to look at.
What All Homeowners Should Look For in a Contractor Before Hiring Them
A Strong Reputation
A strong reputation is something you’ll be able to see from the moment you start researching different contractors. Sites like Angie’s List and Yelp are great review platforms that give you honest insight from previous and current customers of different companies.
Whether you utilize review sites or just find content through search engine results, the type of reputation a company has will let you know whether or not you want to work with them. And a lot of times, you’ll be able to figure this out before even speaking with a contractor… you can just go ahead and mark them off of your list of options.
Contractors are in the service business and as a homeowner interested in their services, you need to see and experience professionalism with every interaction you have with them.
Does the contractor have carpenter insurance? Are their licenses up-to-date? Are they able to present you with a contract outlining all the services you asked for with a breakdown in the pricing?
Those are all considerations to think about when interacting with a contractor, and it’s perfectly fine to ask those questions. Just note that if you ask those questions and they can’t provide the paperwork or documents to back their statements, it’s definitely a red flag.
Maybe you’re an accountant by trade, and with that, it means that you probably have no clue how to do a full kitchen or bathroom remodel. That reason alone is why you’re turning to contractors because they’re experts in their field and you’re relying on their expertise to guide you through your renovation process.
With honesty, you’re going to be looking for transparency in fair pricing, expected deadlines, and an overall trust you can have in them. A lot of times, when your contractor is honest and realistic with you about your renovation, it’s a lot easier to work with them and be more flexible when deadlines have to be extended.
Workmanship and Quality
Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, you still want and expect quality work done. But you also have to remember that you indeed do get what you pay for as well. If you come across a contractor with prices that are higher than you hoped for, ask the contractor why the price is what it is.
For example, maybe you want your living room walls repainted but it might be a little out of your price range… Talk to the contractor to see why the price is a little steep. When you ask that question, the contractor should be able to immediately provide you with an answer.
“Well, we could easily slap a coat of paint on your walls, but to ensure a perfectly smooth finish, there is a bit of extensive prep work needed.”
A statement like that should put a little more confidence in the contractor for you because they’re telling you right then that to get the quality results you want, it’s going to be a little more time-consuming. It also shows their dedication to provide their clients with quality work, even if it takes a little longer.
According to howstuffworks.com, if a contractor has poor communications with you, it’s one of the top red flags that you should fire your contractor. Fortunately, you can somewhat observe this during the research process.
Once you’ve let the contractor know you’re interested in their services, pay attention to if they say things like “I’ll get right back to you on that,” or “I’ll have that done for you in an hour.” Then pay attention to if they actually follow up with you like they said they would.
The contractor you’re working with should keep you in the loop about every aspect of your project. An estimated timeline, price, and answering any questions you may have are all ways your contractor should be consistently communicating with you. You can even let the contractor know that consistent communication is part of your expectations.