Hiring the right remodeling contractor can be a daunting task. This is especially true when you have a lot of options to choose from and very little or no hiring experience. So, how can you find the best remodeling contractor for your house project?
If you’re planning to remodel your house, we’re here to assist. We’ve put together a few tips that you can follow for hiring remodeling contractors Northern Virginia who can offer you the best remodeling experience.
1. Get Recommendations
First things first, start by getting recommendations from your friends, relatives and neighbors. You can also perform a little online research to find the best remodeling contractors in your area. Another good idea is to talk to your local building inspector, who’ll direct you to a trusted renovation contractor in your area. Doing this will save a lot of time and money which you would otherwise waste on a wrong contractor. Getting recommendations from closed ones will make sure that you work with a trusted and professional contractor.
2. Interview The Contractor Remotely
Once you’ve shortlisted a few remodeling contractors in your area, collect their contact numbers and interview them quickly.
When you’re on a phone call, make sure to ask the following questions to the contractor:
- Are they able to take a remodeling project of your size?
- Can they provide you with references for their recent work?
- How much experience do they have?
- How long do they take to finish a project of your size?
The answers to the above-mentioned questions will tell you a lot about the remodeling company. You’ll get an idea if they’re capable of completing your project or not.
3. Schedule A Face-To-Face Meeting
After the telephonic interviews, you’ll be able to narrow down your list of eligible contractors. Once you’ve selected 3 to 4 of them, schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss the project in detail and to get the estimates. A right remodeling contractor is the one who’s able to answer all your questions clearly and satisfactorily. Communication is the key, so don’t finalize the contractor before meeting him in person. Also, don’t let their words and “glamorous” office fool you. For this, check in with the consumer protection industry of your state and make sure they don’t have a bad history with their previous clients. Another good idea is to ask for references.
4. Check The Background
Once you’ve met the shortlisted contractors and have a list of referrals, pull your socks and start researching the background of each candidate. Call their previous clients and ask about the experience they had with the given contractor. Don’t forget to ask whether or not they got the desired results and if there are any complaints/disputes they had with the company.
But this isn’t enough. Consider visiting the current job site of your contactor to see how they work and how many subcontractors they have. Find the answers to the following questions in your research:
- Is the job site well-maintained?
- Are workers working in a disciplined way?
- Are they taking proper care of the homeowner’s property?
5. Get Multiple Bids
By this time, you have a list of contractors with clean track records and whose work seems promising. Now, you can put an end to your research and start moving forward with your remodeling project. A responsible remodeling contractor will offer you a complete blueprint of your remodeling project mentioning the final results that you can expect along with a close estimate.
Get multiple bids and compare them to select the best one. A good idea is to ask the contractors to break down the total cost into categories such as cost of materials, labor charges, their profit margins and other things. This will help you in comparing the bids with great ease. Generally, 40% of the total cost accounts for the cost of materials and the profit margin stays around 15 to 20 percent. If the profit margin is higher than 20% and the cost of materials is too low or too high, avoid selecting that contractor.
6. Decide On A Payment Schedule
A very important tip to follow while hiring a remodeling contractor is to set a payment schedule beforehand. This factor speaks volumes about the work ethics and professionalism of a contractor. If they’re asking for 50% of the bid to be paid upfront, chances are good that they are not financially stable, so avoid working with such companies. For a large home remodeling project, an ideal schedule starts with 10% at the time of signing the contract, 25% three times throughout your project and 15% after the completion of your project.
7. Don’t Run Behind Cheap Rates
Don’t be attracted to the contractors who are offering super cheap rates. Always keep in mind, you’ll get what you pay for. If a contractor is offering low prices, chances are he’ll make his profits by using cheap quality materials which you don’t want. Home remodeling is a big decision, and the use of cheap materials can ruin the entire structure of your home. So, keep your budget flexible and don’t let the price be your guide. However, this doesn’t mean you should work with the contractors who are offering over the top rates. The deal is to find a contractor who’s offering the best quality work at a medium cost.
8. Sign A Contract
Don’t ever forget this step!
Ask for a contract that contains every single detail of the project including the proof of liability insurance, payment schedule, date of starting, date of completion, worker’s compensation, brand of materials, name of material providers, subcontractors and lastly a lien release. Having everything in writing will not only give you peace of mind that everything is going as per plans, but it will also save you from potential frauds and inconveniences.
So, these are the few tips you should follow at the time of hiring the right contractor for your project. If you’re looking for the best remodeling contractors, contact us now and get your quote for FREE!
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