The title, Homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities. Be it a new home or an old one, if it needs to be furnished or remodeled, the homeowners will have to do a lot of groundwork. Hiring a general contractor will be comparatively easy. They will do turnkey work, right from painting the house, installing the fans, lights, and kitchen cabinets, but they are not the construction experts. Some remodeling contractors render financial service as well.
Remodeling contractors are those who will oversee the work done and ensure that it’s done correctly and efficiently. If you know how to find the best remodeling contractor, the job is half done already and if you set terms right with your contractor, your project will be successful.
Homeowners should evaluate the potential of the contractor before hiring him for the work. If you are looking to remodel your house but do not know where to start, we are here to help you! We have put together the list of steps to ensure you find a professionally licensed remodeling contractor, who will complete the project with high-quality work from start to finish, that keeps both of you accountable and happy.
Before getting into hiring a contractor, know what are all the qualities and services offered by the contractor.
GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS OF A CONTRACTOR:
The license and registration of the contractor vary from place to place, but the following are the qualifications of general contractors all over the world. Check with your country norms to get a scoop on what are the requirements right from the documents to the skill to get the job done. The common qualifications are;
- Experience in the field
- Legal to work must be at least 18
- Temporary or Permanent qualifier license
- Required Permits
- Good Reviews from customers
- Personal Liability Insurance
- Clean work record
- Property damage coverage.
SERVICES OFFERED BY THE CONTRACTOR:
There are few contractors who specialize in specific projects like painting, plumbing, roofing but others are multifaceted. The following are the services offered generally by the contractors.
- Electrical works
- Kitchen cabinets
- Interior Designing
- Financial Services
For whichever project they are getting hired, the contractors are solely responsible to provide the necessary materials, labor, and services.
The following are the 5 essential tips to hire a remodeling contractor.
1. DO THE GROUNDWORK
As a client you are the one who is driving the project, so you have to be clear. Before searching for the contractors, do a small research on what exactly you want to do in your home. It is the first thing to do before initiating the project. Only if you have a clear picture of what you want, you can explain it to the contractor and get the job done.
Second thing is, get recommendations from your friends and family. You can also do an internet search for the reputed remodeling constructors in your area or locality but people who live in your area are the best resource. They can provide you a first-hand review of the work quality provided by the contractor.
2. PICK THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOUR NEEDS
Once you are aware of your needs, assemble a list of people who can be contacted for the needs of the project. Making a call to the person or their office to get in touch with them will help. Some questions like as follows may be put forth to narrow down to the right person for the job
1. Do they do the requisite jobs required for your home?
2. Does the contractor have all the required manpower or subcontractors and suppliers of their own?
3. How many projects will they be able to undertake at the same time?
4. Will they be able to refer any of the old clients or some ongoing project to assess their work?
The answers to such questions and any further other questions pertinent to one’s own needs will help in assessing the availability, seriousness, and willingness of the contractor in taking up your project.
3. MAKE PLANS, GET BIDS
Once the right person for the job is identified, connect with your contractor and make sure the contractor has the requisite licenses and permits to undertake the said project. Making a visit in person and seeing eye to eye will help in understanding the needs moving forward. The right person for the job will be too easy to talk to and put forth ideas. If ideas sync and the needs are to be matched by the contractor, he can then be invited to your home to assess the needs of the remodeling and prepare a list of the jobs to be taken up and the approximate cost associated with such work to be undertaken.
4. FORMALIZING PLANS AND GETTING QUOTES
Any conscientious contractor will assess the needs and requirements for the said job and make a blueprint for the materials required, the labor costs involved, etc. Plan to get three other such quotes from other contractors before arriving at a final decision. Not only will you get a perspective on appropriate costs but you will also get a clearer picture of what it takes to get your home remodeled and also how each of the contractors stacks up against each other. This can also help in negotiating a good price for the overall contract. The lowest bid or quote is not always the best. A low bid may indicate the use of substandard materials or desperation for the job. The most appropriate bid is likely to be somewhere in the middle.
5. SIGNING A CONTRACT
Once the quotes are discussed and an agreeable cost for the project is arrived at, draw up a contract in writing with the contractor. The contract drawn up should detail every step of the project and include the payment schedule, proof of liability, insurance and workers’ compensation, start date and projected completion date, specific materials and products to be used, contractor’s license number, names of all the parties involved in the various jobs entrusted and how to handle any additional costs if necessary. Both parties, i.e. you and the duly recognized representative of the contractor, must duly sign the contract.