Select a Professional, Reliable, Remodeling CONTRACTOR
Follow these guidelines to make the selection process easier.
Be better prepared to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.
Employ a home improvement contractor with an established business in your area. Local firms can be checked through references from past customers in your community or through your local better business bureau. Local remodelers are compelled to perform quality work that satisfies their customers for their business to survive.
Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed and or bonded. Contact your state or local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor meets all requirements. Ask the remodeling contractor for a current copy of their license.
Check with the government Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no complaints on record for the contractor.
Ask to see a copy of the remodeling contractor’s certification of insurance for the name of his or her insurance agency to verify coverage. Most states require a contractor to carry worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance. Make sure the contractor’s insurance coverage meets all the minimum requirements.
If you solicit bids from several different home improvement contractors, be sure they are bidding on the same scope and quality of work. Discuss variations in bids and beware of any bid that is substantially lower than the others.
Financing Your Remodeling Project
There are various financing options available to homeowners. Among the most popular is the equity line of credit that bases the loan amount on the equity in your home.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has loans specifically for home improvements. They are available through many banks and lending institutions. The FHA, however, requires the lender to approve the contractor. The FHA does not guarantee the remodeling contractor’s work.
Some institutions will allow you to borrow against the anticipated equity in your home once your home improvement project is complete.
A professional remodeling contractor is familiar with financing options available and can help. Research various sources of funding to compare individual qualification guidelines, interest rates, terms and tax considerations.
Think About Design and Function
Design and function should be foremost in your mind if you’re thinking of adding a room or converting an existing room.
When planning a larger, more complicated project give thought to details such as, intended use of the space, flow of the space, where you want electrical outlets, telephone jacks and cable hook-ups located, the type of lighting required: your current and future storage needs, and whether you want to include luxury items. These details will enable your home improvement to better suit your needs and your lifestyle.
A professional remodeling contractor or design service should be consulted about design and function of any remodeling project. He or she can also help you with time and money-saving hints.
Finding Good Contractors
Choosing your remodeler is the most important decision in a remodeling project. Take your time and be thorough in your search. Here are just a few places to start looking for the best contractor for your home improvement project:
Nearly half of all projects signed by a remodeling contractor are the result of client referrals. An additional 22 percent of jobs are the result of word-of-mouth. These are your best sources for leads:
- business colleagues
- real estate agents
- local material supplier (lumber yards, specialty product providers, etc)