How to Find the Best Home Remodeling
It?s finally time to tackle that big home
improvement project you?ve always wanted to do. Or, you may
have waited so long, now you NEED to do the project. Which
leads to your first question ? ?Where do I
Well, the truth is? some jobs are simply too
big, too complicated, or require too much time to handle on
your own. Whether it?s remodeling a kitchen, installing
gutters, or electrical rewiring for your business ? you?ll
likely need an expert.
contractor, or subcontractor, can be your ?knight in shining
armor? when it comes to completing your project. But, wait?
you?ve heard so many horror stories connected with ?shady
contractors? that you?re starting to re-think this re-model.
But statistics show that the huge majority of contractors out
there are honest and hard-working professionals. Most people
are happy with any improvement project they
?Fine,? you say. ?How can I protect myself
and make sure I find a great contractor?? I?m glad you asked.
Here are some standard tips you can follow to make sure your
repair, remodel, or installation goes well:
Got License? Most states require that a contractor have a
license to operate in that state. Once you find a contractor
(referrals from friends, the Yellow Pages, or you can click
here at http://www.constructiondeal.com to find an expert), you
should check to see if he or she has a local contracting
license to do the job.
Check References ? get at least three references from satisfied
clients. And if you want to get really fanatical, go to the
contractor?s current job site. See if the site is messy. Are
the workers taking care of the property?
Get Bids ? if you have the luxury, get multiple bids from
several contractors. Don?t always assume that the lowest bid is
the best, because that contractor may be desperate for work or
might cut corners on the job. But if you get contractor?s from
several sources, you could get a really great
Get it in Writing ? the days of the ?handshake deal? are far
behind us. Get a detailed contract together and throw
everything in (even if the project doesn?t involve the kitchen
sink!) The more you clarify, the fewer headaches you?ll have if
things go wrong.
Do You Take a Check? Don?t ever pay in cash. Can you say,
?Proof of payment?? I thought you could? Keep logs of all
payments (for example - 10% down, 20% by one date, another 20%
by another date, final payment when work is complete, etc.) and
pay with a check or credit card only.
?Wait a minute!? you protest, ?That sounds
like a lot of work!?
Sure it does. Because it is a lot of work. If
you think a renovation or remodeling job is expensive, imagine
having to pay for it twice! Do your homework and you?ll avoid
being one of the horror stories.
?Are there any warning signs of a bad
contractor?? you ask. Boy, you sure do ask a lot of questions.
And that?s good. Always ask a lot of questions. The more you
know, the better prepared you?ll be to handle the
Okay, these are signs a contractor might be
one step away from going to jail:
If required by the state, your contractor doesn?t want to show
you his or her license. Or won?t give you references. Or you
two don?t get along. Keep in mind: this person may be in your
home, working side-by-side with you, for several months ? you?d
better get along!
Your contractor wants you to pay for the entire project? up
front. Run for the hills.
Your contractor has a ?friend? in the financing business that
can get you a ?good deal? on a loan for your project. What will
really happen is that you?ll end up with a huge ?2nd mortgage?
at a ridiculously ?high rate? and your ?contractor? just got a
juicy ?commission? on the deal.
Your contractor doesn?t have a business address, a business
card, and it looks like the contractor sleeps in his or her
pickup truck. Run really fast for those
Okay. Now that you know about the warning
signs, you need to take a look at some signs you may have found
a really good contractor:
The contractor has at least 4 to 5 years experience. It shows
they can manage their business and complete their
The contractor has insurance. Liability and worker?s
compensation are the most important types of coverage to make
sure everyone is covered.
The contractor has more than references ? he or she may even
carry a book of photos showing past work projects that have
The contractor provides cost breakdowns for the job. These
breakdowns show specific details of what the project will cost
The contractor is flexible. Communicate all your requirements
and specifications for the project. Whether you two decide that
you want to supervise the work or you want to let the
contractor make all the decisions, your contractor will be
flexible enough to work with you.
?Okay, am I ready?? Yes, now you?re ready to
hire a professional to help get your home or business
improvement project off the ground. One of the best ways to
protect yourself is the act of due diligence. Webster?s defines
due diligence as: ?The care that a prudent person might be
expected to exercise in the examination and evaluation of risks
affecting a business transaction.? In simplified terms ? Do
your homework. And you?ll do just fine.
Have fun and make the most out of your
K. Clark is the Director of Marketing for
ConstructionDeal.com, a valuable website
that matches Contractors with Property
Owners for residential and commercial
improvement, remodeling and repair
projects. For more information,