In our jewelry blog, Brent mentions the importance of getting the relationship with your contractor off on the right foot. When it comes to remodeling, a lot of homeowners still succumb to the dated method of getting three bids for a job. This assumes that all contractors are an apples to apples comparison. This is hardly true anymore. In this blog, we offer 3 pieces of advice for finding the right contractor for your job. If you can find the best person for the job, your project will definitely start on the right foot.
Do Your Research
Look for Someone you can Trust
Have a Budget in Mind
Do Your Research
There are two criteria that you should research regarding your contractor.
Criteria One: Does a contractor have a solid track record with happy clients and quality jobs performed? Referrals are a great way to find a contractor that will work great for you. Generally speaking, a contractor that works well with your neighbor or your friend’s budget will probably work for you depending on the project. Yelp, Facebook, and Google Reviews are all great resources for a starting point as well.
If criteria one is met, look for the second criteria.
Criteria Two: Does that contractor have substantial experience with your type of project? You do not want to hire a deck specialist to create a kitchen, and it probably is best to find a deck specialist if you need a new deck. Finding a contractor who specializes in your type of project will provide a smoother project that will get finished on budget.
Start with your friends. Do your research. Read between the lines.
Look for Someone You can Trust
Once you have determined a contractor is a likely candidate, it's time for the interview. Just like interviewing a candidate for any other work place, you are looking for two main things:
Is this person qualified and capable of doing the job?
Can you trust this person to do the job?
The first question really is fleshing out Criteria 2 from above. You want to continue asking questions to find out the contractor's experience with your type of project including the quality level you expect.
The Second question regarding TRUST is what will carry this project forward from the planning stage to completion. Trust is the key characteristic for hiring your contractor. Now when I say trust, I am not referring to blind faith. Blind faith is rolling the dice on 3 bids and hoping that the selected contractor manages to get the job done. So who should you put your trust in?
As you learn more about your contractor during the interview, can you TRUST in this person's abilities, track record and expertise to get your job completed on time, on budget and how you desire it? If you are unsure in any of these areas, it is best to keep looking for the right contractor.
As you interview the contractor, does this person seem trustworthy? In other words, will this person have your back even when you are not looking over his or her shoulder? If you tell this person your desired budget, will he or she use that against you or use it to help you? If your instincts are throwing red flags regarding the trustworthiness of a candidate, it is best to move on to another candidate.
Have a Budget in Mind
Finally, know your numbers and go into the situation knowing how much you want to spend. We tend to make most of our important purchases the same way—cars, tech gadgets, homes. Remodeling follows the same pattern. Your budget should prioritize your remodeling decisions. And it helps to have a professional contractor who can help you work through your options based on the budget you have in mind. Also, know that your ideal budget is just that - an idea. A competent contractor will help clarify and formulate your options, letting you decide the final version of your remodeling project.
HGTV and Your Budget
When determining your budget, it can be tempting to turn to reality TV as a source. It’s important to remember, though, that your favorite home remodeling TV shows probably don’t represent the project’s true budget very well. Oftentimes, the programs are funded by viewers and advertisers, the tools and materials are donated, and the work is done by volunteers. While home remodeling shows are a great way to get ideas and inspiration for your project, we don’t suggest depending on them for accurate budget representations.
As a homeowner, your responsibilities upon meeting are to do your research, establish trust, and have a budget in mind. Establish a good working relationship by being prepared. If you are straightforward and honest about your vision for your home, your contractor should do the same in regard to their ability to reach those goals.
Helton Remodeling Services, LLC specializes in custom, budget driven kitchen, bath, and whole house remodels in the Austin Metro Area. Give us a call today to start planning your future project. (512) 387-5335