Tips for Hiring a Remodeler
Are you among the growing number of homeowners who are choosing to remodel their homes to fit their changing needs, rather than selling their home and buying another one? If so, you’ll soon learn that even simple remodels can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. With that type of investment on the line, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust.
Here are the top tips to ensure you make the right decisions when you find, evaluate and hire a remodeler.
1. Always Go with a Pro
The best place to start is the Builders Association of Central PA. Members of a professional association will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. These sources can also help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling if you need it, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help modify your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGP) to make your home more energy-efficient.
2. Do Your Research
Look at the prospective remodeler’s company website and social media accounts to see photos of their work. You can also find this information for our members using the Find the Expert Tool on our website. Ask for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and others who have had remodeling work done on comparable homes under similar schedules.
3. Create Your Short List
Once you have a list of potential home remodelers for your project, do a little more background research to verify that they are registered with the state and have a good business track record. All members of the Builders Association of Central PA are registered, appropriately insured, and have signed a quality commitment agreement. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection and online review sites. Take the good with the bad when reading online reviews and focus on the descriptions of experiences and qualities that are most important to you as a customer
4. Written Estimates
Make sure they provide a written estimate before beginning work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed.
5. Start Taking Notes
When you begin meeting with remodelers, you want to find out information such as:
How long they have been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what sort of issues could arise?
Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work)
6. Trust Your Instincts
Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations will go a long way towards a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her.