TIPS FOR SELECTING A HOME REMODELING CONTRACTOR
Ask yourself: What is the scope, budget, and timeline for your remodeling or renovation project? What portions of the project can you complete yourself? Are there any building restrictions, or hidden challenges, to consider? Have you consulted with experts (interior designer, architect, etc.) to make sure all your bases are covered? What is your contingency plan if you will be without essential home areas such as your bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Now put your plan in writing, as a roadmap for everyone to follow. Outline each step of the project with a brief description, due date, and point person. Before the project begins, communicate your expectations both with contractors and family members, so that everyone is on the same page. Find home remodeling contractors in Charlotte here.
SELECTING A CONTRACTOR – BE A SKEPTIC
As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.”
SELECTING A CONTRACTOR – DON’T BE PRESSURED BY SALES TACTICS
High pressure sales techniques come from sales quotas and are imposed on workers to motivate them to do volume work rather than quality work. Making these goals assures their livelihood, but sometimes at your expense.
SELECTING A CONTRACTOR – FIND A “FRIEND” IN THE BUSINESS
All things being equal, select a likable project partner whom you trust and with whom you can talk openly about your project, especially if problems should arise.
SELECTING A CONTRACTOR – GET REFERENCES
Seek references from trusted sources like HomeServiceReports.org. Interview at least two home remodeling companies and ask them the following questions: How long have they been in business? Are they members of the Better Business Bureau? What is their contractor’s license number? Do they have “before” and “after” pictures? How do they resolve punch list items? Do they have liability and workers’ compensation insurance?
HOME REMODELING TIP – GET IT IN WRITING
Document all project specifics upfront, including any special exceptions that you negotiate. If subcontractors will be used, include a “release-of-lien” clause to prevent them from placing a lien on your home if the general contractor does not pay them.
HOME REMODELING TIP – AVOID LARGE DEPOSITS
Offer a minimum deposit with balances paid at defined intervals over the project’s timeline. Don’t make final payment until the job is done right. Don’t leave your home unattended or unprotected. Whenever possible, make sure you or someone you trust will be available to “supervise” contractors in your home.
HOME REMODELING TIP – AVOID EMPLOYEES WHO OFFER TO DO THE JOB FOR LESS
If they are willing to steal from their company, you may not want them around your home. Worse yet, these employees may not have the required insurance, experience, or tools. Finally, it may be harder to get differences resolved if you are not satisfied with the results.
HOME REMODELING TIP – DON’T HELP CONTRACTORS
If the remodeling contractor is injured, he may be able to make a tort claim against you. Also, your tools may be broken or not returned.
HOME REMODELING TIP – HANDLING UNRESOLVED ISSUES
Home contractors are people, too, and sometimes make mistakes. Good companies do everything they can to resolve these problems fairly, so be honest if you have concerns about their work. Less reputable contractors, unfortunately, may be less responsive. In these instances, contact the contractor’s licensing board to request an arbitration hearing, report them to the Better Business Bureau, or file a suit in small claims court.
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