BackHow to Evaluate Home Remodelers Before Hiring08/28/23

Thinking of remodeling your house? Your kitchen, basement, laundry/mud room, bathroom, or outdoor space? Based on the scope of work, the design, and the budget, you will probably need a remodeler’s assistance. However, not just any home remodeling company, it must be the right fit. To hire a home remodeling company, there are many factors that the homeowner should consider, including a contractor or company who aligns with the intended design and build process, budget, timeline, and communication. Remember, only a good home remodeler can design a plan that fits your idea and budget perfectly.

Home remodeling companies can even identify the most cost-effective and resourceful methods for an expensive and elaborate project. Some homeowners receive the construction and remodeling company options from referrals, Better Business Bureau, or even simply on Google. It is overwhelming to look at an extensive list of companies, so be sure you have a thorough list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and not important. Some considerations can include experience, design and employee rapport with homeowners, dedication, temperament and communication skills. Therefore, this article will outline some essential criteria on how to evaluate home remodelers before hiring. Let’s get started. 

The Factors to Evaluate Home Remodelers Before Hiring

Remember, only an expert home remodeler can bring you success and make the most of your budget, while reducing the stress and anxiety throughout the entire process.  Homeowners need someone reliable, trustworthy, and professional, so you’re comfortable with the team in your home for weeks or even months!  Consider the below factors before hiring a home remodeler:

  1. Years of Business
    A factor to consider when thinking about How to Evaluate Home Remodelers Before Hiring is the contractors business history. It is essential for you to find out how long the potential home remodelers you are considering have been in business. Someone new, of course, can prove to be efficient, but someone years into this business will have a deeper understanding, and have more depth to the design and build process. Therefore, prioritize the ones who have worked in this field for a longer period of time. Expect experienced teams to have more familiarity with past and present market scenarios, broader connections, resourceful design elements, and valuable insights. By now, experienced home remodeling companies have learned from each project. At this point, home remodeling contractors with years of experience should be pros at seeking the best subcontractors.  However, it would be a plus if the remodelers have experience working on projects similar to yours.
  2. License and Insurance
    It is absolutely crucial to verify whether each remodeler you shortlisted is registered as a home improvement contractor. What certifications do the potential home remodeling companies hold?  In addition, when interviewing the final candidates, ask for a copy of the contractor’s workers’ compensation and liability insurance policy. Make sure the home remodeling company’s insurance policy is active.
  3. Experience and Portfolio
    Experience is one of the vital factors to look for in a kitchen and bathroom remodeler. Only an experienced remodeler can offer the best ideas on a budget, critical perspectives, help with complexities and efficiently handle unexpected events. Initially, when researching remodelers, you should look for their recent work portfolio which should be on their website. If not, feel free to ask them for some before/after pictures, and they should be able to showcase their best skills. This will give you a rough idea of how they handled their past projects.However, when the number is narrowed down to a few, you must ask for their experiences in detail and portfolio during the interview. The portfolio must reflect all the details of their previous projects. Additionally, you can request the few selected candidates to drive you to their previous project sites.
  4. Communication and Compatibility
    Proper and transparent communication is a must when it comes to an expensive home remodeling project. Remember, remodeling may be something very new to the homeowner, so it can be a process that requires hand-holding. Therefore, if the remodeler is impatient, or fails to communicate and cannot give you a detailed view of each step of the process, then mistakes (and frustrations) are inevitable. Additionally, a good contractor will keep you updated on the progress, from design to build. While interviewing each potential home remodeling company, note your feelings and first impressions. Typically, as the saying goes… trust your gut. It is essential to understand if you can keep up with their temperaments and style of conducting business. Look for someone who listens and responds to you, communicates clearly, and is focused on you in each step of the way. To give life to your vision, you must understand each other and have a compatible work relationship.
  5. Check for Online Reviews and Seek Recommendations
    One of the first things you do as the homeowner when researching remodelers is visit their website or social media pages. This is where you can find a section featuring testimonials from previous clients. Besides, you can also check out popular websites such as Angi, Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Facebook. These platforms have lists of contractors, their details and reviews from their clients.To get more recommendations, you can also speak with friends, neighbors, and relatives who have recently had remodeling work done. They can give you an accurate picture of the work’s quality, price and integrity based on their first-hand experiences. 
  6. Contract and Written Estimates
    Before you decide on the remodeler, you should ask for a written estimate. It could be in the form of a bidding document. The document tells you what to expect, with details on inventories and the expected prices. Do you choose the one that has the lowest estimate? No, the lowest estimate does not necessarily mean the best offer, but the contractor may often come out as inefficient. Or the contractor will inundate you with change orders, which will end up costing you more than a higher budgeted amount to begin with. Instead, try to choose based on pricing that is fair, both with respect to your budget and market price.  When both parties agree, you must create a contract paper describing every aspect. You may hire a lawyer to outline each of the segments, plans and discussions in detail. Make sure they should comply with local and international laws.
  7. Timeline and Schedule
    Setting a timeline and scheduling the work requires a discussion with the selected remodeler. Firstly, check for their availability. They may be equipped with other projects as well. If you have a contractor who is ready to begin the work tomorrow… run! Contractors should set a specific timeline and schedule dedicated to your project. The contract should specify the start and end dates. When going through their portfolios, if you find that a remodeler exceeded the completion date on some projects, you shouldn’t assume they are inefficient. This could be a result of unfavorable events.
  8. Payment Terms
    With a mutual agreement, you must discuss payment terms and schedule. The payment schedule should have tentative dates. It must be presented on the contract. All in all, you should have a clear and transparent understanding and agreement of the payment terms so none of the parties has any objection during the process or in the end. Note that, when a remodeler asks for all or a large down payment, this may indicate a problem. In such cases, you may have to consider another contractor.

How to Evaluate Home Remodelers Before Hiring


Questions to Ask Your Home Remodeling Contractor at the First Meeting:

Here is a list of some possible questions to consider in the design and build consultation:

  • What type of experience do you have managing this type of project?
  • Do you have a license and certification?
  • Do you have workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
  • Does your company handle building permits?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Does the project involve a dedicated team and subcontractors?
  • What is the cost estimate?
  • Can you give me an idea of the timeline for this project?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • How do you deal with budget overruns, change orders?
  • Do you run multiple projects at the same time?
  • What measures will you take to prevent damage to my property?

When seeking a construction and remodeling contractor, you must know how to evaluate them to sift out the best among the many. The process involves learning about their experiences, expertise, integrity, communication skills, and availability. Of course the number of years in the home remodeling business matters, however you should also consider the remodeling design creativity. Plus, One of the ways to find a home remodeling company that has a similar project to your own is to find neighbors, friends, or family who have worked with the home remodeling company you are considering. Homeowners in the Leawood, Olathe, Overland Park, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Parkville, and all of Kansas City are looking to Wineteer for their superior kitchen, bathroom, whole room, aging in place, and outdoor remodeling projects. 

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