Hiring a contractor for home remodeling is a big decision and it definitely requires you to do your homework. After all, the contractor you choose makes all the difference in how well your expectations will be met. You’ll probably be investing a decent amount of money in your remodeling project and – especially considering you will be living with the remodel for a long time – you want the job to turn out really well.
So how should you find a contractor for home remodeling in Rockford IL? Well, here are some of the best tips to help you hire the right crew for the job.
• Ask for Recommendations From People You Trust
First off, it’s important to gather a list of potential remodeling contractors. The best way to go about that is to ask your close friends, relatives, or neighbors – preferably those that recently had home renovations – for recommendations. Find out their experiences with the contractors and if they would hire the same people again.
• Search Online for Remodeling Contractors in Your Local Area
Every contractor serious about their trade already has an online presence. With just a few clicks, you can run checks on several contractors and find the top options to interview. Since everyone in the business will market themselves as experienced experts, its best to read contractor reviews and see what their clients are saying.
If there are too many and unresolved complaints or no reviews at all, you need to be cautious of such contractors.
• Decide on the Type of Contractor that Best Fits Your Needs
The home remodeling services that best suit your situation will depend on the nature of your renovation project. For renovating specific rooms like the bathroom and kitchen, it’s generally recommended to hire a contractor who has specialized in that type of work.
If you’re dealing with large or extensive home renovations that involve a combination of tradesmen like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, then you will want to hire a general contractor who can organize the effort and pull in his best recommendations for each individual task.
General contractors have a network of subcontractors and material suppliers. They will organize and take responsibility for all aspects of your home remodeling project. From managing permits and inspections to providing design and obtaining materials, general contractors have the ability to make your life much simpler.
• Ensure Your Home Remodeling Contractor is Insured
The contractor should not only have proper licensing but also be sufficiently insured and bonded, as there are many safety hazards around construction worksites. If an accident happens during renovations and leads to property damage or injuries, you’ll have peace of mind knowing worker’s compensation and other related costs will be covered by the company.
• Interview Your General Contractors
Once you have a list of home remodeling contractors in residential construction, proceed to schedule an interview. Meeting them in person will allow you to cut your list down to a few top contenders and then establish a positive, communicative working relationship.
During the interview, ask them to explain their process. Part of this should include the timeline to complete your project, how they’ll handle unexpected issues or changes, the permits needed for the job, the amount of work done by sub-contractors and the payment schedule. Also, you may want to ask for a copy of their license and insurance policies for double-checking.
• Review the Contractors’ Past Work
Request to have a look at some of the previous jobs of your preferred contractors and compare their portfolios. Some contractors will even allow you to visit their current construction sites so that you can see how they work. But in most cases, they’ll have a physical portfolio or simply direct you to their website resources where you can find images of the accomplished projects.
If you need more assurance, consider asking for references. Calling the former client will help learn more about what they liked or didn’t like about the contractor. If the client with a similar project as yours was truly satisfied with how things turned out, then you’re more likely to be happy too.
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At this point, you should have narrowed down your list to about 2-3 candidates. Here’s what you do next:
• Get more than one estimate
Compare the quotes from the different contractors and see who is within your budget and will give you the most for your money. Please keep in mind that the lowest price is not necessarily the best deal. You need to pay attention to the important details of the quotes, including brand names as well as model numbers of appliances and materials that will be used in your project.
• Put it in writing
When you’ve found a contractor you can trust, the last important step is to get your agreements into a legally binding contract before any cash ever changes hands. If you don’t understand some terms of the contract, seek clarification. A signed contract will protect you by providing a source of a legal course if something goes awry during your home renovation.