Home renovations are a big investment, therefore choosing the right contractor is extremely important. It can take a little legwork to find the best contractor for your job. Here are some simple steps in hiring a contractor that could mean the difference between confidence and sleepless nights.
Do Your Homework When Hiring A Contractor
It is time to discuss and create your wish list for your renovation. A few questions you will need to think about:
- What is your budget?
- What ideas do you have for the space?
- Why is this renovation important?
- What do you dislike about your current space?
- What are your “needs” for the new space?
- What are your “wants” for the new space?
- Do you have specific goals for the space? (i.e. open floor plan)
- How do you choose the correct contractor for the job?
Time for Research
The main part of beginning a renovation project is hiring a contractor that is the correct fit for the job. Creating a partnership with a professional and reputable company is crucial to exceptional renovation experience and outcome. It is not only about the project it is also about the full experience. You want a contractor who can manage your entire process from the beginning design to the end completion.
Key things to do when looking for the right contractor:
- Look for online reviews from reputable sources such as Homestars or Houzz
- Research websites of potential companies
- Ask your neighbours or friends who have used a contractor for any referrals
Once you have done your homework and research and have narrowed it down to one to three contractors/companies that fit your needs, it is time to contact them. You must be prepared with the right questions to ask. You need to treat this like a job interview, since it is a large investment, you need to ensure you find the best fit for your project. Arrange a call interview with the contractors.
Questions to ask:
- Do they have any experience in handling home renovations?
- Do they have all the necessary licenses, and can they provide proof of their insurance?
- Are they insured for worker’s compensation?
- Will they provide a list of their previous clients?
- When can you expect your home renovation project to be completed? Can a detailed schedule be provided?
- Are they going to provide clean-up services as well?
- What are the terms of payment?
- Do you need to provide the materials?
- Do they handle all required permits?
- Does the contract include after-sales services as well?
- What will be the preferred mode of communication between you and the contractor?
Face to Face
The next step will be to meet in person. Key things to look for during your initial contact with the contractor:
- Were they on time?
- Did they present themselves professionally?
- Ask similar questions as the phone interview to ensure consistency.
- Ask about the history of the company.
- Ask about their current employees and how the company is structured.
Once you have chosen your contractor and are comfortable with the person and their style it will be time to discuss the project.
- Walk through the project
- Ask the contractor how they would approach the project
- Have they done similar projects?
- Provide your ideas about materials, designs, and functionality
- Confirm how long will the project take
If you are comfortable with the contractor and feel it is a good fit for your project and your family, then it is time to decide and move forward. Ensure the contractor also agrees it is a good fit as a great contractor only takes on projects that are the right fit for the company.
When it comes to establishing a budget, is not a fun task, but it is an important piece of information for you and your contractor. The budget parameters are important as to what you want to be completed in your home.
For a budget consider the scope and complexity of your home renovation project and the quality of finishes that you want or specific materials/fixtures that you would like.
Depending on the type of renovation, you may require a design phase with full construction drawings. Working with a contractor with ties to a designer is key for complex renovations.
Contractors should provide you with a detailed quote along with the details and terms of payment (s).
When renovating a home, it requires an experienced contractor. One who is committed to the job. With these helpful tips for hiring a contractor, you can put your mind at ease and let the renovations begin! At Lifestyle Renovations, we are ready to discuss your vision and start your renovation journey!