You've set aside the funds. You've clipped images from magazines. Your Pinterest boards are overflowing with ideas. And now you're ready to take the plunge and remodel your kitchen or bathroom. When your remodeling project is no longer a distant dream, but a tangible part of your immediate future, it's time to choose a contractor.
But this can be intimidating, frustrating, and puzzling -- especially if you've never done it before. The right contractor will bring your dreams to reality, while the wrong contractor may create a living nightmare in your home. Learn how to choose a contractor who will not only do beautiful work, but will work beautifully with you.
One of the most important pieces of a good contractor/client relationship is the feeling you have when you talk to your contractor. Do you feel like you're being listened to? Do you feel like your ideas are taken seriously? Are your concerns being carefully considered or brushed aside? And -- this is a big one -- do you actually LIKE the contractor?
The most-skilled contractor out there may not be worth it if you don't even like being around them. Remember -- this person has your hopes and dreams quite literally in his/her hands. Make sure you both can get along.
A Great Portfolio
Experience matters. Start by looking at testimonials and reviews online. Then, ask for a list of previous clients, and don't hesitate to call to ask how their experience was. Ask to see photos of completed jobs, and if possible, visit them. Don't worry about being "intrusive." You want to make the right decision on how your home is handled.
A Solid Work Ethic
Nobody likes projects that drag on longer than they need to. You want your contractor to show up on time, and you want the hours spent in your home to be productive. Look for clues about your potential contractor's work ethic. Does s/he show up to your first appointment on time, and are you treated with respect? When entering your home, is care taken to avoid soiling your carpet? Is the company's vehicle maintained and tidy?
Accidents happen. But you don't want to be held liable for them if they happen in your home. Make sure the contractor is licensed and carries insurance that will cover any harm to people or property due to construction, as well as worker's compensation for any injury to workers.
A Solid Bid
Your potential contractor should be able to give you a solid bid for your renovation. That is, you should expect the contractor to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins, and other expenses so that you know exactly what you're getting. Additionally, your potential contractor should be very detailed when listening to what you want. Plans should be drawn, and the project should be crystal clear.
Most contractors will set a payment schedule in which you pay in increments -- 10 percent at signing, three 25 percent payments at evenly-spaced intervals, and a final payment for the remaining 15 percent at completion. This protects both of you. Be wary of a contractor who asks for half or more up front.
When you decide to move forward, make sure you both sign a contract that lays out the specifics of the project, payment, proof of insurance, start date and estimated completion date, and materials to be used.
New Life Bath and Kitchen is licensed and bonded, with highly-trained employees who take pride in their work and in their treatment of our customers and their homes. Give us a call at (805) 639-5433, or request a free consultation online.