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What to Look for in a Remodeler

How do I find the right contractor for my home remodel or addition? Who will do a professional job, on time and for a fair price? There is no single correct answer, but HSA can provide the following guidelines to help you.

Consider All Your Options

  • Ask your friends for names of contractors whose work is similar in size and complexity to yours. A contractor who did a great job dry–walling a basement may not be qualified to do an addition.
  • Lookonline for contractors who have earned awards or certifications, who advertise for your type of project, and who are full–service remodelers. An organization with a broad range of expertise is probably better able complete a complex project than one whose experience is limited.
  • Drive around and look for jobs that are currently underway. Stop and talk to the owners about their remodeler.

Visit Contractors’ Offices

  • Does the contractor you are interested in working with have a permanent location, posted business hours, a staff, and displays? Look for the Builder’s License and ask to see current Certificates of Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
  • Ask to see drawings and photos of jobs similar to yours. Can they design your project? Does the contractor have enough employees to commit to continuous staffing of your job?
  • Ask for clients’ names (preferably whose projects are similar to yours) and then call and talk with them about their experiences with the remodeler.

Narrow Down Your Choices

  • Select two contractors you feel comfortable with and have them visit your home separately. Make sure all decision makers are present and allow for enough time to talk to each remodeler in depth.
  • Discuss the project with the remodeler and evaluate how they react on the site. Do they listen and offer suggestions? Do they respect your home? Do you feel comfortable with them?
  • It is important that personalities, styles, and expectations are compatible so the remodeler can provide a design that works for you, your needs, your style, and your budget.

Get Your Choice Down to One

  • There is one final service that will help confirm your selection of a contractor without committing to the full project: Contract with the remodeler to produce the design and specifications. The fee for this service is usually 2% to 3% of the expected cost of the project.
  • You have now made a limited commitment to the remodeler, and you can test the relationship during the design phase to verify your selection.