If you're considering a remodeling project for your home, chances are you're going to need a contractor. Here are six things to keep in mind before hiring a professional to help.
1. Know what you want
Before you make any phone calls, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want to remodel and what you'd like the outcome to be. Even if it's not crystal clear, a vision or sample images you can show a contractor will help immensely in getting an accurate estimate. A contractor who can bring ideas to the table are great, but make sure you get an estimate on what you're looking for so you can make 'apples to apples' comparisons.
2. Ask your friends and family
Good remodeling contractors typically generate a lot of positive recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and other people you trust if they have ever worked with a contractor that they liked. Asking not only helps you narrow down your list for who to contact but also who to avoid. Knowing who does, and doesn’t, do a good job is a key part of how to choose a contractor for your home remodel.
3. Look for online reviews
Online reviews can be very helpful. If you seek these out, you'll get a broad range of experiences customers have had with the contractors you're researching. Keep in mind every contractor will have good reviews and bad reviews. Treat these like a bell curve, throwing out the best and the worst. But, look for the average and look for any themes... Is customer service a persistent concern? Did the contractor regularly go over budget? Were timelines an issue? Also, look at how complaints were handled. Did the contractor work to resolve the issues at hand?
4. Speak with multiple contractors
Always get multiple bids on your project. Even if you love the first plan you get, stopping there means you’ll never know if the estimate you received offers good value. Home remodeling contractors may charge different rates because they may have different specialties, so getting multiple bids is a good idea. Be sure to ask if they work on projects of your size, and what their availability is for your desired timeline.
5. Check references
References, such as current customers and subcontractors, can help you learn about the quality of the work. Current customers can share personal experiences and subcontractors can provide red flags, such as not paying on time or cutting corners by using less than stellar materials. You can also check to see if any complaints are registered with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
6. Seek well-defined bids
To best compare estimates, ask each contractor to provide details about the costs for labor, materials and any other related expenses. Once you have an estimate you like, start the negotiation process. Make sure the contract is detailed and that you’re comfortable with it before the project starts. Once work begins, communication is the key to a happy and successful remodel.
At Fort Rock Construction, we take great pride in our honest, straightforward approach to contract bids. We may not always be the lowest bid, but you can trust that we've included everything from start to finish so you're not hit with surprises later on. Give us a call today to schedule a consult, and we'll prepare a no-obligation quote. 541-767-1611
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