In order to have successful home renovations, homeowners must choose contractors wisely. Inviting someone into your home requires trust. Asking someone to work on your home requires you to have comprehensive knowledge of the person and their staff.
To help you be happy with the outcome and achieve maximum return on investment, here are some things you need to know before hiring a home remodeling contractor.
Is The Company Licensed, Insured and Bonded?
To protect your liability when a company is working on your property, be sure it (and its entire team) is licensed, insured and bonded for their work. Leading contractors will have both general liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance. Ask to see the remodeling company’s license before agreeing to any price quote for the work on your home. Check with the local authorities that the license is up to date. Home improvement contractors of different skills in Pinellas County should be licensed at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board or the State of Florida.
Lastly, it is important to add that you may be prosecuted in court if you were found guilty of making business with an unlicensed contractor, so beware and do your research!
Check Them Out With the Better Business Bureau
Is the contractor accredited by the BBB? If not, why not? If they have nothing to hide, they should be accredited and supplying their information. The BBB keeps records of any complaints against a company as well as providing a snapshot of its working history. On top of the BBB, you can also check them with the Pinellas County Consumer Protection to see check a contractor’s complaint history.
You want a home remodeling contractor with an A+ rating, nothing less.
See Their Work
Many of the leading firms will be able to offer contacts for their previous projects. You can then speak to previous clients directly about the quality of the company’s workmanship. Did they complete jobs according to clients’ requirements? Were they able to offer creative solutions to working challenges?
What You Want From the Project
Before you hire any home remodeling contractor, establish the project’s parameters. List in writing your “Musts” and your “Wants”, then get a written estimate, followed by a contract. The contract should clearly state all the works that will be done, the approximate time frame (start and end), payment schedule and warranties including labor and materials.
Be sure they provide all schematics if you are redesigning any area like the kitchen, living room, bathroom, patio or entrance way. Can you and your family live OK around the way work is planned?
Does the contractor accept credit payments? These transactions leave a proper trail. Cash does not. Sometimes a check can be problematic, too. When does the contractor want payments? Up front? In installments? As each phase is completed? They should discuss this with you to achieve a mutually beneficial solution. Lastly, watch out for non-refundable deposits and non-escrow accounts.
How Does the Company Handle Change Orders?
Change orders can occur when you change your mind part way through a remodeling project. It’s important you set out the process for handling change orders with the construction company before the project begins. That way, you can avoid potential confusion and financial issues that may arise.
There are many things to find out when hiring a home remodeling contractor. So many that it can get overwhelming sometimes. The items in this blog should be invaluable to you in choosing the right contractor for your home.
Greg Nelson is the owner of Nelson Construction & Renovations Inc. He is a Florida State Certified Building Contractor, creating artistry in all areas of design and construction projects. He is a musician, and artist. A husband and father, Greg appreciates all the wonderful elements of family life.
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