We would all like to believe that most remodelers are professional businesses, ethical and adhere to best practices. However, with a set of tools, a nice truck, and some business cards, anyone can call themselves a contractor. We refer to these types as a “Chuck in a Truck”. These guys tend to be “power schmoozers” and they will tell you anything to get a job. They are cheaper than everyone else…ask for large deposits and if the truth sadly be told, are always late, full of excuses, uninsured, and will probably not complete the job.
Hiring the right remodeling contractor is essential for insuring that your new remodel project looks and feels the way you envisioned…and most important it comes in on budget!
I have outlined a series of surefire steps to hiring the right remodeling contractor.
- Be sure to ask for at least 3 referrals from past clients and be sure to take the time to call them. Ask tough questions and the #1 question. Would you hire them again?
- Be sure to shop and compare apples to apples. The lowest price is never the best price.
- Is your contractor licensed to do the work required? In Colorado Springs, you can check their license status at pprbd.org/PublicAccess/LicenseSearch
- Require a certificate for both workman’s compensation and liability insurance. Be sure to CALL those insurance companies to make sure their policies are current.
- Trust your gut instinct. Do you connect with them?
- Make sure the complete “Scope of Work” for your project is in a legal binding contract.
- A dated or poor web site, will tell you a lot about their core values.
- Be sure to call on memberships with professional associations such as the BBB, National Association of Remodelers Institute and the Home Builders Association.
Once you find the perfect contractor and are ready to hire them, you need to understand that they are probably not able to start next week. Good remodelers are typically busy and booked out for a couple of months for a reason.