Remodel Your Home
Finding the Right Remodeler to Make your Dreams Come True
Your dream might be a bigger master bathroom or an updated kitchen. Whatever the scope, the first step in any remodeling project is finding the right remodeler. You'll want someone you communicate well with. Someone whom you trust. After all, the relationship with your contractor is a partnership that involves one of your most important assets - your home.
Remember these important points when you're choosing a remodeler for your project:
- Collect ideas about what you'd like from magazines, the homes of friends and neighbors and remodeled home tours and provide have them available when speaking with prospective remoders.
- Search the Master Builders Association member directory for a current remodeler member. You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations.
- Make sure the home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
- Find out how long they have been in the remodeling business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
- Is the remodeler up-to-date on the newest technologies? Being a member of the MBA Remodelers Council or having a Certified Graduate Remodeler certification can mean extra piece of mind for you.
- Check out the company's rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure the remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.
- Ask the remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won't, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
- Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.
- Do you feel you can easily communicate with the remodeler? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the remodeling process and afterward as you live in your newly-remodeled home.
- Make sure the remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.
Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!
Be open and honest with your remodeler about your budget and lifestyle and let the contractor help you maximize your project within your limits.
Design is a critical element in the process. Remember that many remodelers have design/build capabilities, or employ designers on staff. Others work with architects. Either way, use the services of a good design professional - ask your remodeler for ideas.