Lowe’s State of the Pro report, which surveyed 1,000 homeowners and 1,000 pros during Q4 2021, confirmed that Americans care about their homes more now than ever. Nevertheless, home renovations can be a daunting task. You have to be able to trust the contractor, and their company, to get the job done. We’ve all heard the nightmare stories of renovation mishaps where contractors botch or fail to complete a job – NMC Realty wants to help you avoid becoming one of those stories. Whether it’s something relatively simple like installing new kitchen cabinets or more complex like remodeling your entire bathroom, the toughest (and most important) part is hiring a quality contractor capable of performing professionally throughout the home renovation process.
Finding the Right Contractor
Before looking for home construction licensed contractors, a vital first step is to research your state, county and city requirements as contractor license and registration rules may vary. These state-by-state differences will come up again once you start interviewing prospects. When searching for a suitable contractor, be sure to leverage family, friends and neighbors who recently underwent home renovations. People in the building trade, including employees of local hardware stores, can all refer you to a professional as well.
After you’ve gathered a list of referrals, start narrowing it down to the contract that best fits your needs. Try to whittle your list down to at least five, then, when interviewing them, ask for a written proposal from each where they must detail how they will complete the project. Likewise, these candidates must have the appropriate documents and licenses that match your state, county and city guidelines. Wait till you have received at least three written bids on your project. Compare each based on identical plans, specifications and the scope, but don’t impulsively accept the lowest bid.
Additional Home Contractor Tips
Having singled in on the potential contractor and worked out the project logistics, it’s key to verify the company’s legitimacy. Ascertain the business’ authenticity by investigating how long they have been in business and reading reviews. It also helps to check licenses, complaints and litigation history. When it comes to licensing in California, contractors must have a contractor license bond. Moreover, it’s helpful to know what bonds cover – some can even protect against substandard work. However, these do not guarantee the contractor's financial or professional honesty or capability. Be watchful of fly-by-night companies that promise they don’t need permits because it will save money.
Things to Keep in Mind Throughout the Home Renovation Process
The ideal home construction licensed contractors are qualified, experienced, reliable and professional. And while it may be tempting to say “all done” after hiring the perfect contractor, it’s vital to maintain contact throughout the project. Stay connected and check in often to see how the project is coming along to minimize renovation mishaps. Also, if at all through the home renovations you feel that something is off, speak up.
As for payment and the best home contractor tips, you should only make the final payment once you are satisfied with the result – this must also get mentioned during the hiring process. Similarly, don’t pay more than 10% of the total before the job begins. Lastly, no matter the price, never pay in cash. If the contractor asks for cash payments, it could be a scam. Only pay in check or credit card for small projects or coordinate financing for bigger ones.
And just as you need an expert when renovating your home, so too do you need an experienced realtor to help you sell it.