What’s keeping you from moving forward with your remodeling project? Are you bogged down by the fear of choosing the wrong contractor? You’ve heard the cautionary tales: The contractor who started a project and then disappeared. The kitchen remodel that dragged on month, after month, after month. The unfortunate results left by poor quality work.
Tackle those fears and move on with it. Doing your homework to find your best professional contractor match is important—but it’s not difficult. Here are a few tips:
- Ask around for referrals. Tap your personal network for information about which local builders have solid, long-standing reputations for doing quality work. Ask friends who have been through the remodeling process about the pros and cons of the contractor they selected. If you already have a builder in mind, ask them for references.
- Check credentials. Make sure the contractor is licensed in the state the work will be done, if required. Look for license information on the builder’s website. You can verify professional licenses and standings through state offices. In Minnesota, check the Minnesota Secretary of State Business & Liens online business lookup tool. Check for professional organization memberships. For example, the Builders Association of the Twin Cities requires its members to provide documentation proving professional license, liability insurance and experience.
- Conduct in-person interviews. Gather your preliminary information, narrow your list, and then interview your top three.
- Get it in writing. Before any work begins, make sure you have a clear, written contract in hand. The contract process itself is a good indication of the builder’s professionalism. If you find them difficult to deal with in this earliest of stages, it’s a good sign to stop the relationship. Get up to speed on construction contracts. Minimally, the document should include a detailed scope of work, bid price and payment schedule, change order process, and proof of insurance.
In the end, you should feel free from skepticism. You’ll be confident that the builder you select is legitimate, professional…and the right choice for you.