Home remodeling is a significant investment, so it’s important that you go about it the right way. That almost always involves working with a general contractor and unfortunately, we’re sorry to say, not all are as ethical as we’d like them to be. Here are some things to watch for, and steps you can take to make sure you don’t end up regretting signing on with a contractor.
Get Consistent Bids
The only way to know what kind of price you are getting is to get several bids for the job. You need to make sure you get bids for exactly the same job, though. If you get a bid and the contractor makes suggestions for tasks that should be added on, don’t include them in the bid from the next contractor or you won’t be comparing the same job. You can ask them to let you know how much the additional work will cost, but make sure that for comparison purposes, each bid is for the same job.
It’s a good idea to get three bids, but keep in mind that the low bidder isn’t necessarily the best choice. There are other factors that you have to consider.
Find Out Who Will Be Doing the Work
Some contractors subcontract work to other individuals or businesses. It’s not unusual for a self-employed contractor to sub out plumbing or electrical work that require specialized experience and licensing, but a larger company may have these professionals on staff. If your contractor won’t be doing all the work themselves, you should know who will be doing it.
You may even save money by working with a remodeling contractor that uses only in-house employees because you won’t be paying commissions on work that is subbed out to another company. If the contractor says that they will do all the work themselves, find out if that means they personally will be involved, and how big their crew is. You want to make sure that the contractor you agree to work with will be on your job and available to you, even if several different people do most of the actual work.
Get Testimonials and Look at Jobs
An experienced contractor will be able to show you before and after pictures of jobs, and should have testimonials from satisfied customers. Of course, these can be faked, so don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need more information. Out of respect for our customers’ privacy, we never give out personal information in order to get references, and hopefully other contractors protect their customers in the same way, but you should be able to get evidence that the contractor does good work through other means. You may be able to see job sites that are currently active, but again, work on homes has to respect the homeowner’s privacy.
We have been in the home remodeling business for over 20 years in the Phoenix area and are confident that we can do a great job for you. If you would like to talk to one of our certified design professionals, give us a call at 623-544-1211. We’d love to discuss your remodeling plans with you.