You finally decided it’s time for a home remodel project. In order to make sure you get your money’s worth, it is vital you do choose a home remodeling agency carefully. Take a look at the checklist we made that can help you decide between different remodeling contractors.
While having a license may simply be a formality, a licensed company is still considered more professional, reliable and trustworthy than a company without a license. Moreover, companies which are on the list of Licensed Contractors are supposed to abide by certain industry standards and regulations, and their track record and reputation can be verified more easily. For a list of licensed contractors in Denver, search the official government website.
You can also search Better Business Bureau database to discover companies who won the BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.
Every serious company should provide evidence of some sort of insurance in case of on-site injuries or accidents. While having an insurance coverage means a company protects its employees, it also means they will not expect you to cover the expenses should anything unforeseen happen. The general liability coverage provides general coverage in case of damage to your property, while the worker’s compensation coverage avails both the company and the client from the financial responsibility in case an employee suffers a bodily injury.
Companies with headquarters in your city or county are a far better choice for your project than those located in other cities. Locally-owned and operated companies can ensure a quick turnaround time and a timely completion of the project. In case of an emergency, they are more likely to arrive promptly after being contacted. Besides, local companies may give special discounts for the residents of its city of location.
Communication and Flexibility
Many homeowners start the project enthusiastically with plenty of ideas, but end up disillusioned because the contractor tells them their ideas are not viable. It often happens the homeowners comply with the contractor’s suggestions simply because they think there is no other choice. To make matters worse, they are usually dissatisfied with the end result. To avoid something similar happening to you, choose a company whose staff is willing to consider your ideas and come up with a custom design solution. Don’t settle with less – choose an innovative company that will know how to blend your ideas with design and construction standards.
A reliable company should give you a comprehensive and straightforward cost estimate of your project before any work begins. The overall cost should be estimated based on the type of services and the scope of the project, as well as products and materials used in the project. If the project will be partly carried out by subcontractors, the company should account for their cost of their services and include them in the cost estimate.
Although you should have a budget contingency plan, the company of your choosing should give you accurate and well-informed information on the possible additional costs or unexpected expenses.
Since a license is a valid assurance of a company’s reliability, it does not guarantee customer satisfaction. In order to very a company’s track record, look at the reviews they got on Yelp and Angie’s List. You should also ask around and discover if your family, friends or neighbors had any experience with the company. Online reviews may not be entirely genuine, so you should rely on the word-of-mouth.
Ask to see the company’s portfolio – companies usually have a gallery on their official website, so you can have a clearer image of what kind of service you might expect from them.
Area of Specialty
Depending on the type and scope of your project, you will decide on a specific type of contractor. General contractors manage all aspects of a remodeling project, hire subcontractors, schedule inspections and obtain permits. Therefore, they offer the widest range of services. Specialty contractors specialize in a particular type of service, such as cabinetry or fixtures installation. Design/Build contractors have a staff architect responsible for construction designs, as well as a staff designer, who comes up with interior design. Once the design is made, the same company provides building services.
It is especially important to establish which part of the project will be done by the company’s employees, and which will be delegated to subcontractors.
Every reliable contractor should obtain the necessary construction permits, unless you make a different arrangement. Either way, the company should be involved in the process, at least offering professional advice. Companies which are not familiar with the process of obtaining permits or disregard its necessity altogether are not to be trusted.
Since some remodeling projects can be quite time-consuming, you and your family might have to leave your home for a period of time, or at least not use some parts of your home. This may pose a considerable strain to your everyday activities, so it is vital you get regular updates from your contractor on the progress and the part of the project that were finished. The company should have a way of informing you of any changes, whether by phone, email or in person. If there is not contact person whom you should contact to inquire about your project, you risk being kept in the dark throughout the whole project.
Payment in Advance
Depending on the scope of your project, it can involve a number of stages and be of different complexity. You should choose a company that will clearly distinguish between different stages of your remodeling project, and ask you for payments in installments. Don’t trust contractors that expect you to pay the whole sum in advance, especially for more complex projects.