Home remodeling has the potential to be a rewarding experience that upgrades the residential space where you’ve built your life and made memories so it remains functionable and comfortable for your family in the coming years.
One of the first steps to achieving both a positive experience and desirable outcome is selecting the right Fenton remodeling contractor for the job. The company you choose will influence each aspect of the project, from the timeline and cost to communication style and conflict resolution. It’s not a decision to be made lightly.
How Do I Choose a Good Remodeling Contractor?
Any time you hire a professional for a job, there’s no way of knowing upfront if you’ve made the right selection. You’ll only have that certainty after the work is complete. However, with due diligence and a careful vetting process, you can make an informed decision that increases the likelihood you’ll be satisfied with the results. Here are some of the key steps to finding a contractor in your area to help you complete your home remodel:
1. Identify Your Project Priorities
As you start planning your home remodel, it’s important to set a goal, or clearly identify what you hope to accomplish. What spaces do you plan to make over? Do you want to improve the function and flow of your overall home or specific rooms? Are you wishing to create more livable space to accommodate frequent visitors or a live-in caretaker? Have your tastes changed, leading to the desire for a fresh design style? Knowing what you wish to accomplish not only makes it easier to get an accurate estimate for your project, but it also helps you sift through potential remodel contractors, as different companies have different areas of expertise or specialties. For example, a company that specializes in exterior remodeling isn’t necessarily the best choice for a major kitchen makeover.
2. Put Together a Short List
Now, you can start developing a list of quality contractors in the Fenton area. A simple online search will yield some results, and you can add the top-rated companies to your list. Another effective solution is to ask for contractor recommendations from your family, friends, neighbors or other industry professionals, such as your plumber or electrician. Their trusted insight can help you narrow down your list and also potentially know which companies to avoid.
3. Look at Reviews, Testimonials, and Past Projects
Once you have a list of names for prospective home contractors, you can start doing your homework. Look over each company’s website to ascertain what remodeling services they offer and what geographic area they serve. They will likely have an online portfolio you can look at to see if they’ve executed projects similar to yours and if you like their general style. Many companies also include testimonials from past clients. However, you should also search for reviews on Google, Angie’s List and Yelp, as well as social media sites. Pay attention to what past customers are saying and how the contractor responded to any negative feedback.
4. Check License and Credentials
You should never work with a home remodeler that isn’t licensed, bonded and insured. This information should be public record, and you can use it to research the company’s credentials, Better Business Bureau rating and legal record. Is the company facing any outstanding lawsuits? Do they have multiple complaints against them? Has the company changed its name in the past, and if so, why? Sometimes that can be a red flag if it was an attempt to escape a bad reputation or legal issue. You can also check to see which professional organizations the company is part of.
5. Conduct Interviews
One of the best ways to vet prospective contractors is to interview them in-person or on the phone. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to the top two or three companies, set up interviews with the project manager or general contractor in charge. Some questions you should ask a general contractor during the preliminary interview include:
- How long have you been in business?
- What is the estimated timeline or process for this type of project?
- Will you handle pulling permits and setting up inspections?
- What does the payment schedule look like?
- Will there be a dedicated project manager for my remodel?
- Who is my primary point of contact for the duration of the project?
- How do you handle complaints or disagreements?
- What measures will you take to protect my property during construction?
- Do you offer warranties for labor and/or materials?
You should also get references from each contractor so you can speak to other homeowners that have worked with the company in the past. Ask them about their experience, both the positive and negative aspects.
6. Get Bids from Contractors
Before signing a remodeling contract or design agreement with a general contractor, you should get a couple bids, or cost estimates. You’ll need to share a well-defined vision with the contractors to get an accurate quote for your remodel in Eastern Michigan. Also, be upfront with them about what you’re willing to spend on the project. Keep in mind that while cost is an important factor to consider, it shouldn’t be the only one. Just because a company offers the cheapest quote doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your particular job. It’s just as important that you find a general contractor who does quality work, has a good professional reputation and communicates efficiently. Once you have a bid you can work with, from a company you like, you can start your remodeling journey.
Selecting a Remodel Contractor in Fenton, MI
Choosing a qualified, competent general contractor is arguably one of the most important parts of a successful residential remodeling project. You need the right team by your side to maximize the investment you’re making into your home improvement. At Top Choice Builders, we assist homeowners in Fenton and the surrounding area with a variety of remodeling projects, from kitchen and bathroom renovations to basement finishing and exterior upgrades. We can help you develop a custom design, navigate regulatory hurdles and, ultimately, give new life to the home you love.
“How to Choose the Right Home Remodeler.” Consumer Affairs. Accessed online at https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/how-to-find-home-remodeling-contractor.html