How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Home Project
Renovating your home is a huge undertaking and depending on the project it can be very expensive, especially if you're hiring a contractor and his/her team. This is why it is so important to ensure that you select the right contractor for your home and your project.
Not only will this prevent any disappointment, confusion, or miscommunication from occurring later down the road, but it will also help to ensure your money is put to good use and you end up getting exactly what you had hoped for. If not, better!
Choosing the right contractor can be difficult, especially if you don’t have anyone to refer you to a professional. However, after years of being in the home renovation and construction industry, we’ve developed a few guidelines that can help outline what it is you should look for when hiring. So if you’re ready to begin the process of interviewing some contractors, here are some tips that will help you find the right one.
Meet With and Interview all of the Candidates
Although it may not seem like it, you are interviewing someone for the job. So, it is important to meet with them and ensure the following few things:
- There’s good understanding and communication between you/your family and the contractor
- He/she seems professional and someone you’d want to work with
- That he/she seems like someone you can trust
- You have a good gut feeling about them
- They are able and licensed to do the work
Odds are, if you don’t connect well with the contractor personally, you probably won’t get along well professionally. Meet with them in person, ask some questions to get a sense of who they are, how they work, and if they are someone you can trust to get the job done. In plain terms, if there isn’t a good connection, then they are not the contractor for you.
Ask for Examples of their Work and Referrals
Want to get a crystal clear vision as to how your contractor works and what it is that they can accomplish? Then be sure to ask for these two things. Speaking with past clients and seeing examples of their work will help give you a great idea as to how they are professionally and if they can achieve what it is your planning to accomplish with your renovation.
Have a Clear Understanding of What it is you Want, and Communicate it
If you don’t know the end result you're aiming for with your renovation, you won’t be able to get a good understanding of whether or not the person is right for this job. Before you start meeting with contractors, be sure to have a crystal clear vision and some concrete photo examples that highlight what it is you want.
Then, during the interview process, be sure to bring out the examples and talk about your vision. This will help you compare your end goal to their previous work, as well as get a sense as to whether or not this person will be able to meet your expectations.
Work with Specialized Contractors
We’ve touched on this before and we’ll talk about it again. Working with specialized contractors is a huge plus, especially if you’re going for a more complex renovation. Those who specialize in kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, etc, may be more experienced and will help the renovation go smoothly. Not only have they done the project many times before, giving you peace of mind, but they will also be able to ask you questions of things you may not even thought of, to help complete the project and achieve the vision.
Go with your Gut Feeling
This may seem like a weird tip, but as always, your gut is usually right. If you’re interviewing a contractor and something seems off, or they may not seem like the right person for the job, odds are, they aren’t. This is why we recommend that everyone meets in person with their candidates! It will help you get a good sense of what they are really like, making it easier for you to make your decision.
Ask About Budgets AND Timelines
Yes, coming in under or around your budget is important, but you also want to ensure that timelines between what you were expecting and what can be done match. While you’ll want to focus heavily on the quote when meeting with your candidates, you should definitely ask them how long they expect the project to take. Bonus points if they are able to break down the timelines and show you what will be accomplished when.
At the end of the day, if you don’t have a solid referral that you can trust, finding a contractor can be a difficult and overwhelming task. But it is important for you to take your time, ask a lot of questions, meet with many people, and go with your gut! By following this process you should have a clear understanding of what working with that contractor is like, helping you to pick the right option that works for you, your needs, and your end goal!
Of course, if you are in the market for a contractor, we’re always here. Feel free to contact us and set up a consultation. We’d be happy to answer any and all questions, meet in person, and of course, provide you with customer testimonials and previous work examples! After all, we are the experts.