There are few things more satisfying than the opportunity to spruce up your home. However, the most difficult aspect of renovating a home is finding the best remodeling company to do the work. The outcome of your home improvement project hinges on the remodeling contractor you choose.
If you truly want a seamless journey towards an amazing home upgrade, you must vet and select the right contractor. They are the people who will bring your renovation dreams to life. If you pick the wrong company, you could potentially experience project delays, poor craftsmanship, blown-up budgets, or other back-end repairs.
Here are some things to consider during the selection process to ascertain the best home remodeling company.
Start With a Solid Plan in Place
As the famous saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Thus, you must start your home remodeling project with a plan. First, take a good look at your home to decide what you want. It would help to:
Know your why
Whether you want to beautify your home because you will live there for the next thirty years, you want to flip it and make money, or you need more space, you need to ensure your remodeling company understands the “why” of your plan. Knowing your goals can help you find the home remodeling company that fits your objectives.
Set a budget
On top of that, be honest with yourself about how much you can afford. You may want to redecorate many things, but that hinges on your budget. Of course, it would not be fiscally healthy to get into too much debt for your home, especially when you have a mortgage. So, weigh your decisions carefully.
Make sure visions align
Designs and plans make everything easier because you can get more accurate estimates on materials, labor, and time. Knowing details can help you select a home remodeling company that truly understands your vision. If they seem incapable, then you should take your business elsewhere.
Check Your Network For Referrals
Nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends, neighbors, or even co-workers. This helps you narrow down your prospects and make you feel more comfortable working with people your immediate network trusts. Besides, they may even give you a heads up on which remodeling firms to avoid.
Another big plus about asking for personal recommendations is getting a chance to see the finished product. If you are close to them, you can ask to see their contractor’s work. This will help you make a sound decision. After all, renovations are a significant investment in your home, and you want to ensure you work with a reputable firm that uses high-quality materials and offers excellent craftsmanship.
Take It Up a Notch and Read Online Reviews
With the power of the internet at your disposal, you can dig in deeper and research more. Do not merely look at your prospective renovation firm’s website testimonials. Instead, visit 3rd party websites like Yelp or Google My Business, where there are objective reviews from real clients.
This will help because past clients speak about their experiences to let you know how a contractor truly fares in the eyes of the customers. Check out how a contractor handles negative reviews. Look at the following:
- Are they cordial amid criticism?
- How do they respond to negative feedback?
- Do they offer any ways to make up for their setbacks?
These details are telling because you can expect similar treatment during your home renovation project. If you feel uncomfortable, it is best to find a different contractor.
Check the Official Website
After listing your prospective home remodeling companies, check out if they have an official website. Look at the following:
1. Licenses and Affiliations
Remember, a reputable firm will have a website to show its authority. It will also list their licenses, accreditation, and other industry affiliations. You want a contractor that is properly certified because you may need permits before the work begins.
2. About Us Page
Look at the “About Us” page to get to know more about the firm. It should state how long they have been serving customers in your area and the types of projects they perform. The longer they have been in the industry, the more you can feel at ease because it indicates good performance. Conversely, a firm will not last long in this industry if they deliver substandard work and make clients unhappy.
3. Project Gallery
Take the time to check out their client and project galleries. A home remodeling company will proudly showcase its past projects. After all, their portfolio is a testament to their capabilities. Assess their online gallery to see if their style complements your home renovation vision.
Get on the Phone and Interview Several Contractors
After narrowing your list, it is time to start calling your prospective contractors. It’s a good idea to get several bids for your home renovation project. But, even if you fall in love with a certain firm’s idea, don’t stop there.
Instead, go out and get different quotes because you may find an excellent home remodeling company that offers something better. Home remodeling firms offer different rates because they have varying specialties.
Keep in mind that the cheapest option is not always the best option. When a company offers something way below the standard, it could mean they cut corners or show desperation to get work. Both are major red flags. So, during the initial interview, ask:
- How capable are they of doing your project?
- What is their availability?
- What are their estimated costs?
- How long until they complete the work?
- Will they be doing any other projects alongside yours?
- Do they hire subcontractors?
- How do they vet the workers?
- Do you provide insurance for property damage and worker injuries?
A reputable home remodeling firm will welcome questions since they understand that this is a large investment you are about to make in your home. They will also want to address all of your concerns – their workers will be strangers you are expected to welcome into your home for the duration of the project.
Get their Official Name For Cross-checking
You must get the official name that appears on their business license. You want to cross-check this with the Better Business Bureau. This accreditation is an honor because not all businesses are eligible for it, it must be earned. If the BBB accredits a particular firm, it means they live up to established business standards and have committed to resolving all issues with their clients. Thus, this extra research is your chance to discover if a company you are considering had consumer complaints or other issues in the past. You can even see how they resolved their problems.
Look at the Overall Process
Communication is a big thing if you want a happy and successful home remodel. After all, you want your contractor to update you through every stage of your project, so it will make a big difference at the vetting stage to go with a company that quickly replies to your queries.
Make sure that you look for a contractor who makes your comfort and convenience a priority. On top of that, choose a firm with a solid process that assures 100% customer satisfaction. Find out what their views are on the following:
- Production process
- Project monitoring
- Change orders
Most of all, you want to know how they will handle issues that arise as the project occurs. When it comes to remodeling, some issues can crop up. For example, inclement weather or faulty materials. It would be best to know how they address these kinds of setbacks.
Having a system or process in place is a great indicator that the firm is proactive. They plan for success by proactively planning for curveballs and adversity. Thus, you get the assurance that despite unexpected situations beyond their control, they will do their best to keep the project moving forward. This is what separates stellar companies with lifelong loyal clients from those who are so-so.
Ask For and Check The References
Make it a point to get a reference list from your prospective home remodeling company. References can come in the form of past customers, current customers, and subcontractors. All the details they share can help you vet the right candidate, so find time to speak with them.
- Past customers: Ask them if they are happy with the work and if the materials have lasted. Inquire if they finished everything on time and within budget requirements. If they encountered issues, find out how the contractor resolved them.
- Current Customers: Politely request if you can see the current project. From there, you can see how safe and organized the team is in handling projects. You can also get a glimpse of work quality.
- Subcontractors: Interview them to find out about materials used. You can also ask about payment schemes to find out if their invoices get serviced on time.
This feedback matters because they tell you a lot about a contractor. As much as possible, you want to stay away from those with red flags. Most of all, ask these people if they are willing to work with the contractor again. If they say yes, you are on the right track.
However, if the answer is no, you should consider moving on to a different one. Notably, if a home remodeling company feels reluctant to give you names for references, consider it a warning sign. Of course, a reputable firm will always feel proud to give names to their happy clients. However, if they do not, you may wonder what they are hiding.
Find Time to Visit the Construction Site
Do not end your vetting process with a simple interview. Instead, find time to meet up in person so you can get the feel of things. Usually, your instincts will tell you something when you meet with service professionals.
For best results, do not conduct the meeting in a coffee shop or conference room. Instead, ask to hold a meeting at one of their current job sites. You want to see the contractor and the team in action. After all, they may be performing the same service for you in a couple of months.
When you visit the construction zone, keep an observant eye. Look at your surroundings to assess the situation. It would help if you took note of the following details:
- How neat is the job site?
- Did they put up safety precautions for construction hazards?
- How do they organize the materials?
- Are the workers respectful and courteous?
Ask for Well-Defined and Detailed Bids
After narrowing down your home remodeling firms, ask for detailed bids. You will naturally discuss your plans, the blueprints, and the designs you want to follow. Next, tell them your budget and ask about feasibility with your projected timeline.
When you ask for well-defined bids, you compare the various contractors to see which offers the best value regarding materials, labor cost, and other expenses. Typically, the breakdown for most constructions is as follows:
- 40% materials
- 35% labor costs
- 15% others
From there, you can start negotiating with the home remodeling company to see if they can fit your needs. Make sure everything is written in a contract so that you are protected. This will ensure that everyone is happy the moment the project starts. And in case something happens along the way, you can revert to the contract to settle any problems.
Have Faith in the Team
Finally, if you find the right team, you can feel confident that your renovation projection will come to fruition. Remember, an experienced home remodeling company sees you as an important part of the team. After all, you, as the engaged client, have the most stake in the project.
Thus, it is important to have faith in your team to ensure your project keeps on moving towards the direction of your goals. Remember, the entire remodeling hinges on every member’s seamless performance.
If you need help with your home remodeling project, get in touch with our team at Eco Minded Solutions. We have been serving this industry for years, and our long list of happy clients proves that. We provide stellar home remodeling results and creative designs.
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