Are you tired of cooking in a dated kitchen or spending time in cramped living space you’ve outgrown? If you are a homeowner ready to make upgrades to your home rather than selling and buying a new home, it may be time to remodel. If your remodel involves structural, electrical or plumbing work, you should strongly consider hiring a professional remodeler.
A professional remodeler works to ensure construction on your home is completed safely and meets high quality standards. Some projects take considerable time and money so it is important to select a contractor you can trust. Here are five pro tips on how to find and hire a remodeler.
Utilize a Professional Directory. A general internet search of remodelers will generate dozens of names. How do you vet them all? The best place to start is by utilizing a directory of professional remodelers. The Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties has a directory of professional remodelers in your area dedicated to the highest professional and ethical standards in the home building industry. This directory can help you find a remodeler with specialized training and all are members of the local Remodelers Council.
Research Potential Remodelers. A professional remodeler will likely have a website and/or social media accounts that showcase previous home renovation projects. Review these sites and other professional building websites, such as Houzz, which may also have photos of completed project and reviews. Generally, online reviews can have a mix of positive and negative comments. It is important to focus on descriptions of experiences and qualities that are important to you as a customer. Reliable referrals can also come from family, friends and neighbors. Ask them about the type of remodeling work completed on comparable homes with similar schedules.
Narrow Your list. A good rule of thumb is to double check that your potential contractor has the appropriate license and a good track record. Your local or state office of consumer protection will likely have information about the contractor you are researching. You should be able to verify that the remodeler has the appropriate licenses and registrations.
Connect and Ask Questions. A qualified remodeler will be forthright and answer any questions you may have about their professional experience, knowledge of the homes in your area and details related to the residential building permitting process. Ask about how long their business has been in the community and request references. You also want to make sure the contractor carries insurance that will protect you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries.
Explore Steps for Estimates and Contracts. To make sure you and your contractor agree on the scope of the project, it is important be on the same page about the specifics. A qualified remodeler will provide a written estimate before beginning the work and provide a detailed contract. The contract should clearly spell out what work will and will not be performed and provide a payment schedule.
Overall, your home remodeling project should be a positive experience if you work with a professional that fits your needs. Trust your instincts when hiring a remodeler. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your remodeler over the course of your project, so trust and regular communication is key.
A home is one of the largest investments which most Americans make and it is also one of the most important. Remodels and renovations will enhance the value of your home. We hope these tips help you determine which contractor you can count on, to professionally complete your next project.
For more information about finding, evaluating and working with a remodeler, review the Consumer Tips page at Irons Brothers Construction.
— By Joseph Irons, Irons Brothers Construction