Here’s six quick tips you should know about when hiring a remodeler.
- How long has the contractor been in business? Some new contractors are very good, depending on their background and experience. Those who have been around the block a few times are most likely to know what to expect and how to satisfy your remodeling needs.
- Does the contractor have a reference list? Ask for some references on jobs they did year or more ago and one or two ongoing projects. Both types will give you good insights into the contractor’s performance record. And then call them. It does no good to just get the list and say that because he or she so readily gave you the list, you needn’t call.
- Ask for a copy of their licenses, either their state contracting or home improvement license, and their county and city business license. And it doesn’t hurt to go online and see if the license is still active. Check the amount or limit of the license. Do they have a limit high enough to do your job? Limits are per job, not cumulative. So if they have $100,000.00 limit, they can do a project up to $100,000.00. Check on Tennessee State licenses here. Start your search with their last name or company name, and then become more specific if you can’t find them.
- Next, ask for a certificate of insurance from their insurance carrier. Showing you a copy does not mean that it is still in effect. Be sure that the copy comes directly from the insurance carrier. The two insurance policies that they should carry are General Liability and Worker’s Compensation. If they don’t have these, then you need to move on. Do not take on the liability of a person getting hurt at your home. Insurance is very expensive, so expect the reputable contractors to be more expensive. There is a good reason they are.
- Do you have a friend that has used the contractor? Call them and get a few details about how the design or estimating process went. Are they still happy with the job? Would they use them again? What would they do differently next time? Ask lots of questions. When you make your final decision, it is just that. So make a wise one.
- Don’t ignore your “gut” feeling. Do you think you can get along with this person or company for several months? They are going to be in your home and among your family and around all your possessions. You have to hire someone you trust.
That is just a short list of items to think about. The remodelers that I recommend have been around quite a while and know how to treat their customers. I have selected them because I believe they are both ethical and highly experienced.
Learn more about hiring a contractor. Read some interesting stories about remodeling that went way wrong, and how to avoid it.