Choosing a Contractor for Remodeling Your Home
October 19, 2011
In New York City, the home is a little slice of peace amongst a city of business, and therefore any changes to one’s home are paramount and should be taken seriously. A remodel in your home is a substantial undertaking. Remodels are often time consuming, and require your giving over of your space to a contractor whom you have trusted with the task of completely renovating or building into your existing home. Because a remodeling project can be so personally intensive, choosing a contractor who is professional, trustworthy, and an expert at his or her job is integral to a successful remodel.
When you decide that a remodel is on the horizon for you home, you should be open to hearing a bid from at least three contractors who would like the job. Several quotes from different sources will provide you with knowledge and comparisons that will assist you in determining a reasonable price for the project at large. Since the contractor is going to be spending so much time in and around your home and will be completing a project that is very near and dear to your heart, it’s important that you get along with the contractor both personally and professionally. Conducting interviews with all of the contractors bidding on your project will help you to determine how well you connect with each contractor and whether a working relationship between you is feasible.
It’s important to remember that as the homeowner who is commissioning the remodel, situations may arise where you need to give directives to the contractor. For this reason in choosing a contractor you must choose someone who you are comfortable giving directives to.
Before committing to working with a contractor, you should ask for the contractor’s license number and contact your state’s licensing department to verify the validity of the license. In addition to verifying the validity of the license, the state department should be able to inform you of any issues or complaints with the licensed contractor that have occurred in the past.
You should ask the contractor if he or she will provide insurance for the remodel to your space or if you are expected to provide the insurance. Many contractors do provide insurance, and it may be worthwhile to spend the time to find a contractor who will.
As you should when hiring anyone, you should check your contractor’s experience and references before committing to working with him or her. Ideally your contractor will be able to show you a portfolio with before and after photos of previous projects. He or she should also be able to give you a list of former clients whom you should feel free to contact to hear previous clients’ impressions of the contractor’s professionalism, expertise, and overall performance.
Once you have chosen a contractor, before work begins on your remodel, a comprehensive contract should be drawn up to clearly state the scope of the work, what is expected of the contractor, the total cost of the project, and a promised completion date for the work. A good contract will also include protocol for the contractor to follow if the need to change the scope of the work arises during the remodel itself.