Approximately 90 percent of Americans intend to renovate their homes in the future, according to the recent Trulia homeowner survey. Out of those interviewed, 40 percent of them intend to do so in the next two years. This comes as no surprise, since Americans take a great deal of pride in their homes. Once you have located your perfect home, it’s natural that you would want to keep it looking its best. Alternatively, you may want to improve the functionality and adapt your home to your family’s needs. However, when the time comes that you are ready to take that step and start the renovations, choosing the right contractor can be the key to getting the results you want – at the cost you want. So how do you know you have found the right contractor for your home renovation project? By looking out for a few important details when considering your contractor options.
Check Contractor’s Licensing And Experience
Depending on the scale and nature of your home renovation project, your contractor should have the applicable licensing and certification to show that they are capable and legally allowed to carry out the intended work. Most states in the U.S. require contractors to have a general contractor’s license. However, the contractor licensing requirements vary according to state. For instance, in Alabama, general contractors must have a state-issued license for any construction maintenance or repair project that will cost over $50,000. In Arkansas, the cost limit is $2,000.
In addition to state licensing, you should also ensure that your contractor has workers’ compensation and liability insurance. The physical nature of the job can put contractors at risk of injury, and you want to be sure that you and the contractor are protected if that occurs. If you are in doubt about what contractor licensing certifications you should be looking for, contact your local state licensing board or National Association Of State Contractors Licensing Agencies website for help.
Ask For Examples For Past Work And Completion Deviations
One of the best ways to choose the right contractor for you is by judging their past work. If a contractor has done a renovation that is similar to what you are looking for, then you can rest assured they will understand your vision for your home remodel or renovation. Many contractors with satisfied clients are more than happy to cite work they have done in the past, and some even have a portfolio to help them when bidding for jobs. When viewing their past work, ensure you include questions like whether there were any unplanned changes such as delays or extended timelines – and the reason for this. If the circumstances of extensions were not due to additional work or factors out of their control, then you can feel better about the contractor not dragging on work for increased costs or time wastage.
Customer Feedback, Referrals And Contractor Specialities
Another way to narrow down your contractor choices is through feedback from past clients. Using contractor forums, directories or company websites, consumers can view online reviews from past clients. Around 91 percent of people value online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Are they known for their work on similar projects? Do they stick to agreed timelines? Do they exceed the planned budget? Another great source of information is online contractor ranking websites like Builder Online’s Top 100 Rankings or online tradesman directories. Since 70 percent of people research a company through its website before purchasing, many contractors now prioritize having a good online presence. The best roofing websites, for example, will communicate the values of the business and show you your options clearly: searching online can point you in the direction of highly rated roofing contractors and provide you with all the information you need, including pricing estimates.
Alternatively, you can ask your friends and family members about any contractors they have worked with in the past. Finally, if your contractor provides references, be sure to check them out. If you still need convincing, consider having a short conversation with each shortlisted candidate. Be sure to ask them questions like whether they can provide an itemized cost estimate and the length of time they have been in the contractor business.
Start with these basic details, and you can be guaranteed to find yourself a contractor that can make your home renovation a possibility. Furthermore, you can do so at a price you can afford and without any of the nightmare contractor stories.