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Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
Once you finally make the big decision to renovate your home, choosing the right general contractor can mean the difference between a beautiful new renovation to your home and an unfortunate disaster. Communication and personal connection, references, budget, and experience are just a few of the considerations you need to take into account as you seek the right person for the job.
As you begin the planning process, take time selecting the right builder – you are sure to be happier with the result.
Connect with Your Contractor
As the homeowner, you need to feel that you can put your trust in the general contractor you choose. As you begin to talk with potential builders, assess their communication styles and your comfort level with each individual.
A potential contractor should be respectful and listen and respond to your concerns. Treat them as if you are interviewing them for a job — a contractor should be able to tell you about their previous experience with the type of renovation you want and confidently answer any questions you may have about the project. They should express willingness to engage in regular communication about the project via phone, email, or text message, and should be happy to meet with you at least once a week to catch up on how the project is progressing.
Check the Home Builder’s References
Once you get a short list of potential contractors, do an internet search for their names and businesses to check if anyone has posted complaints about their business practices. Check with your local building inspector – they should be able to provide any complaints about the builder from previous clients as well.
Check the contractor’s website for a portfolio of completed projects or ask for photos and references. You can call former clients to ask about timeliness, budget consciousness, and outcome. If possible, it may even be worth a visit to a current job site to check if it is kept neat and organized and if the workers seem respectful and competent. Remember, these people will be working in your home, so it is worth the extra effort!
Contractor Experience, Knowledge and Insurance
Ask your general contractor about previous experience with jobs like the one you are planning, and be sure that he holds the proper licensure and insurance. Insurance is very important — you could be liable if someone gets injured on the job if your contractor does not carry the proper insurance. Your contractor should also have an established and recognizable name in your community.
Some questions to ask a potential contractor:
- How long have you been in business? A contractor who has been in business longer is often more reputable and has a more thorough portfolio.
- What qualifications and certifications do you have?
- How many projects like this have you completed in the last few years? Request pictures and specific references.
- What types of insurance do you carry? Personal liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage are basic insurance policies that every builder should carry.
Be Clear with Your Contractor About Your Budget
Deciding on a budget that your family can afford is an important step in the process. Decide on a range that works for you, and then discuss this openly with your potential builders.
It is necessary to be upfront with your contractor about your budget for the project so that the two of you are on the same page throughout the process. It is normal for some changes during a project, but an experienced builder can keep costs in the range of your budget under most circumstances.
As you receive bids for your remodel, it can be challenging to sift through the options. You might be tempted to go for the lowest bid, but often choosing a bid in the middle range is best. A lower bid can reflect that the contractor is inexperienced, using lower quality materials, or is desperate for work. You can request explanations for the differences in cost if you need clarification.
Execution of the Project
If you are living in your home during the remodel, it is essential that your builder take into consideration your family’s needs during the renovation. Construction sites can be hazardous, and a good home improvement contractor will take the necessary steps to keep your family safe.
The construction area should be completely sealed off from the living area. This is essential for protecting your privacy and health during construction. The site should have gravel or stones around entries to and from the interior to minimize the tracking of dust, dirt and mud.
Your contractor should also be clear with you on timelines so that you are aware of the approximate length of the project.
Choose Mancill Builders for Your Home Renovation
When choosing the right company to remodel your home, you want a contractor with experience. Alan Mancill has been in the general contracting business for over 40 years.
Mancill Builders is known for honesty, respect, and professionalism. Alan is an expert in home renovations, additions, and new home construction and is a trusted and respected resident of Delaware County. At Mancill Builders, they meet with clients to discuss needs and expectations first, create a clear written contract, offer fair and competitive bids, and agree upon a payment schedule before the project starts. They are thorough and communicate throughout the entire process to ensure that you are satisfied, and will not make changes to the agreed-upon contract without your consent. Call Mancill Builders today at 610-566-5128 to discuss your project and set up a meeting. Start the process of making your dreams for your home a reality!