Choosing a home remodeling contractor is a big decision, and it’s important that you get the best person for the job. You need someone who understands your vision, who has the experience to deliver what you want, and who will communicate effectively with you throughout the process. Most importantly, you need someone who will respect and enforce your budget. That being said, our team of NJ residential architects has put together this list of tips to help you choose the right remodeling contractor for your home:
#1. Do Your Research And Seek Recommendations
Online research is the first step. Do searches for contractors in your area, and ask local architecture firms if they can make any recommendations. Perhaps you’ve seen a home in your neighborhood that you love, or you have a friend who recently did a remodel and the result is fantastic. Ask them who their contractor was because word-of-mouth recommendations are often the most successful and reliable in terms of being satisfied with the end product.
#2. Obtain Quotes from Multiple Contractors
We always recommend getting at least three quotes from different contractors for a home remodel. When you’re spending this amount of money, it’s necessary to compare costs and budget is often the key factor. Be sure to ask for an itemized quote, so you can see how much they are charging for each component of the whole job. It’s also important to discuss a payment plan upfront, so there are no surprise charges along the way.
#3. Validate Proper Licensing and Insurance
Your contractor should have all the necessary licenses and insurance coverage needed to operate in your state. While this information should be readily available on their website, you can always ask what type of insurance coverage they have, and you can ask to see all of their necessary licenses and certifications. Don’t work with anyone who can’t validate they are licensed and insured!
#4. Gain Insight into the Contractor’s Professional History
To get an idea of your contractor’s professional history, ask for client references and search for testimonials online. Many contractors have references from previous clients on their website and official Google business profile. Other third-party websites like TrustPilot can also help you learn more about them.
#5. Document All Agreements in Writing
The golden rule of doing business is get everything in writing. While phone calls may be more convenient, you need a verified paper trail that documents everything you discuss with your contractor. This should include cost estimates, timelines, budget considerations, and more. Protect yourself by communicating everything via email. If you do happen to discuss something quick over the phone, send a follow up email right after to confirm everything that was said.
#6. Clearly Communicate Your Project Expectations
Communication is key and it’s a two-way street. You expect your contractor to communicate clearly and regularly with you, and in return, you should offer them the same courtesy. It’s best to share your project expectations at the start so your contractor understands what you want and how you want it. They can then tell you what’s realistic and what might not be.
If you’re in the market for a contractor and you’d like some advice from our home remodeling architects in NJ, please contact our team at Seth A. Leeb Architect today and visit us at: https://leeb-architecture.com/