(Family Features) If you decide to invest in a home improvement project, you are likely to hire a professional contractor to bring your vision to life on time and on budget.
Remodeling companies are diverse so it is important that you take the time, ask plenty of questions, and do research before choosing the right one for the job. Note the following considerations from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry:
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Choose local. A local home improvement with an established business in your area is likely to be affiliated with your community and have a vested interest in doing a good job. Referrals are a major source of business for local businesses, so local transformers are usually forced to do quality work that will keep their customers happy in order for their businesses to survive.
Discuss experience. While a seasoned Transformers may be willing to embrace something new, it is likely that you would best work with someone who is experienced with your specific project. A learning curve can be expensive, and the results are not always exactly what you hope they will be. Discuss similar projects the contractor has completed in the past and how that work compares to your planning. Also ask what external certifications a contractor may have acquired that are relevant to the project.
Understand staff. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who will be home to complete the job, whether it is the person you meet to discuss a proposal, or an assigned team. If work is to be subcontracted, ask who will be the project manager and who will ultimately be responsible for these tasks.
Check the references. A reputable contractor should be able to create a list of previous customers who can validate the remodeling company’s workmanship and service. You can contact the government consumer bureau and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints for the contractor. Also ask if the remodeler is a member of a trade group or association.
Check the licensing. Many, but not all, states require contractors to be licensed, bound, or both. Check with your state or local licensing agencies to make sure the contractor meets all requirements. Ask the conversion contractor for up-to-date copies of the relevant licenses.
Confirm insurance. Obtain a copy of the conversion company’s insurance certificate or the name of their insurance agency to verify coverage. Most states require a contractor to provide compensation for workers, property damage, and personal liability insurance. Make sure the contractor’s insurance coverage meets all minimum requirements.
Compare bids. There are a number of different factors that go into the pricing of a remodeling project. Make sure that each estimate reflects the same amount of work. If the estimates do not fully indicate what work will be done, contact the contractor for clarification in writing.
For more tips on choosing a contractor, see remodelingdoneright.com.