Home renovations are a large commitment. You are investing top dollar in the project, and wish it to be done to the highest standard, giving you the maximum value for your money.
But how do you choose a residential renovation general contractor out of the dozens available on the market nowadays?
In any city, town or area, there will be a great number of companies offering residential home renovation services. Some will focus on smaller jobs, such as painting and minor improvements, others can do major renovations such as moving walls and adding rooms or whole storeys to your home.
Outline Your Needs
The first thing you need to do, even before you go shopping for a residential home improvement company, is to sketch out your project’s outlines. How big do you want to go? Do you wish to go small-scale and make minor improvements, or do you plan to work large-scale and remodel entire rooms? Once you have this outline in mind, you can go out there and start looking for a contractor that has experience in the type, and scale, of renovations you have planned that will fit your budget.
Examine their Credentials
Once you found a residential renovation general contractor with a decent portfolio of the renovation jobs you are looking for, check their licensing and certifications. Being physically capable of doing the job is not quite enough to qualify for it. The job needs to be legal and proper if you are to avoid liabilities. See if they have all necessary permits for the jobs they do. Any electrical and plumbing work should only be done by trained and certified professionals. Those certifications are what makes the huge difference between a handyman and a professional residential renovation general contractor
Ask for References
Once your contractor is cleared for relevant experience and full credentials, it’s time to get more personal. The way to make sure you get what you were shown is by asking the contractor to give you his references. Every contractor has a list of happy clients willing to talk to you and testify that the job they got was really as good as it looks in the photos. Also, a renovations job is not only the end result. It is more than that. You’ll want to know how they handled any issues and if they were able to maintain a schedule. Once you got that cleared, it’s time to move on to the next step.
On to the Interview
Once you’ve gone through the previous steps, it’s time to jump in and shake some hands. This is where you get to meet the people you are going to work with, get your options laid out in front of you and make some real decisions.
Always be very specific with what you are looking for and the budget you have available. Setting your expectations early will ensure there are no surprised or miscommunication. Make sure you like what they have to offer and see if they have a genuine interest in making sure you are happy. A responsible professional will sit with you to plan the project down to the smallest detail, running you through materials, design styles and catalogues until you are absolutely happy with the plan.