20 Tips to Hire the Right Contractor for Your Home Remodel
Updated: Jul 31
Change is supposed to be good, but it can also be frightening when it comes to home renovation. If you don't do your homework upfront, a house remodel might go horribly wrong in terms of time and money, leaving you wondering what you were thinking when you remodeled your kitchen or bathrooms.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when they decide to remodel their home or business is cutting corners on their contractor. As with most things in life, you truly do get what you pay for when it comes to home renovation professionals.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to be able to drive up to their ideal home. You can ensure that your house renovation project stays well away from bad territory by working with a trustworthy, experienced contractor.
How do I find a good remodeling contractor in Orlando?
How do you know that a contractor is the best person for the job, and where should you begin your search? Here are 20 suggestions for finding a home remodeling contractor.
1. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish with your home remodeling project.
Before you begin contacting contractors, make sure you know exactly how you want to renovate your house. This may seem obvious, but many homeowners end up hiring contractors and agreeing on a design only to ask for modifications or addendums after the work has begun.
You'll want to think about how you're going to make sure that your project comes in on time and under budget. Planning ahead of time will keep you from having to make costly modifications halfway through the job. This frequently leads to the project running over budget, failing to meet its promised deadlines or even coming to a halt entirely. Always plan as much as you can ahead of time so you don't have to change anything during the course of the project.
2. Ask homeowners in your neighborhood for tips
It's always a smart idea to get recommendations from others. You may naturally seek advice from friends and family, but why not ask a few of your neighbors as well? Did the family next door just redo their kitchen and bathroom? Or did another friend just replace their countertops?
If the end result turns out well, find out who did the job and whether they're satisfied with the final product. Take a drive around your area and look for houses that have been recently remodeled; most homeowners will be pleased to offer their thoughts on contractors, especially if they are happy with the work.
3. Check Google and other online review sites
The internet has revolutionized the way consumers shop for items and services, with over eight in ten consumers conducting research online before making a purchase. Checking online to learn more about a contractor's reputation is a great way to make a great remodeling contractor choice.
You’ll be able to see a wide range of opinions from homeowners willing to speak up about the quality of the labor, materials and overall workmanship.
4. Don’t set a minimum (or maximum) number of estimates
When searching for a contractor for any sort of house renovation project, one of the first things you'll hear is "try to get three estimates." The trouble with restricting yourself to three is that you can't be certain you're receiving an accurate picture of all the alternatives available.
The ideal alternative is to obtain as many quotations as necessary to feel confident in your selection of a contractor. If that's the case, fantastic! If not, keep looking until you locate a highly qualified contractor who seems like the ideal fit for your home remodel.
5. A busy contractor is often a great contractor
Because a good, experienced contractor is likely to be in great demand, you could have to wait a few weeks or even a few months to get on their schedule. Isn't it worth waiting for a contractor you can trust to do an excellent job when you consider that you're making such a large investment in your house?
6. Listen to your instincts
“Going with your gut” has its merits. You and your contractor — as well as the construction crew — will come into contact at a number of stages throughout the contract drafting and negotiation process, as well as during the completion of the work on your property.
If you're unsure about who to hire, do some research and screen candidates until you find someone with a good reputation. Make sure there's a positive rapport between you and the contractor. If you get an unfavorable vibe from the start, it might be an indication that the project won't work out well.
7. Go with a certified pro
DIY has gotten more popular in recent years, and it has encouraged everyone to attempt difficult tasks that are better left to the pros. The challenge for most homeowners is determining whether someone is a genuine expert or someone who does weekend work on the side.
Inquire about the contractor's history and qualifications, don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't hesitate to ask for proof of their experience and competence. An experienced contractor will appreciate this and will be glad to provide the information you require to feel confident about entrusting your property with them.
8. Ask how long the contractor has been in business
You can find horror stories about homeowners who have been dissatisfied with a contractor's work, only to be unsuccessful in their attempts to chase down the contractor through the court system to recoup money for an incomplete or bad job.
Unfortunately, it's simple for a small company to close its doors as a lawsuit looms, only to reopen under a new name months later. When you hire a remodeling contractor that has been in operation for many years or even decades, the danger of this happening to you is significantly reduced.
9. Ask about examples of past jobs
Take a look at the contractor's prior work. The internet has also given homeowners with lots of helpful tools for finding reputable contractors. Many skilled contractors have websites that feature a photo gallery of their most recent jobs. And if you ask them, the contractor is likely to have even more photos and project examples.
If they have plenty of successful home remodeling project examples, they will likely produce similar results for your house or business.
10. Check the BBB and trade organizations
Is the contractor an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau? Check its ratings online, as well as its status with home construction and renovation trade organizations and publications, such as GuildQuality and Qualified Remodeler Magazine.
11. Verify insurance, licensing and permits
It's also critical to verify that your contractor has the necessary licenses and permits to carry out home remodeling work in your city. It should also have the appropriate insurance to protect its employees if someone is hurt while working on your property, and it should have all required licenses and permits from your local municipality before beginning the job.
12. Ask about communication methods through the project
A home remodeling project is not a "set it and forget it" experience. Inquire as to how often the contractor will check in on you throughout the process. Someone should be based at the office who is specifically responsible for keeping track of you and the crew working on your home.
13. Get it in writing
It should go without saying that your project should be professionally recorded in its entirety. In the case of a quarrel about labor, supplies, or quality of work, it's your word against the contractor's.
A well-written contract is essential to receiving the best results from your home remodel. A responsible contractor will provide you with a detailed agreement that thoroughly explains all of the conditions, starting with the financing and culminating in what happens if you are dissatisfied with the work.
14. Price isn’t everything
If you're like the average person, your home remodeling must adhere to a certain budget. Although price should not be the only consideration when choosing a contractor, it should not be the sole one — or even the most significant.
If you go for the lowest-cost solution at the price of quality, you will almost certainly have to replace it much quicker than you should. In the long run, this will raise your expenses and reduce the value of your house.
15. Be specific about payment terms and financing
Before a single hammer lands on your home remodel project, you should know precisely how much you're paying — and when you'll have to pay. Contractors that demand you pay in full before any work begins are especially to be avoided.
You wouldn't buy a new vehicle without taking it for a test drive, and you shouldn't buy new clothes without trying them on. Why should something as vital as house remodeling be any different?
16. Know exactly who will be working
Will the contractor hiring you be the one who performs the job, or will he or she outsource it to a subcontractor? Make sure you know exactly who will be working on your property on the first day of work so that you are comfortable with and confident in them.
17. Ask about materials upfront
Understanding that you are not an expert in cabinets or countertops may make you feel a little lost, but it doesn't have to stop you from learning more about the materials used on your house remodel. Inquire about the types of materials utilized by your contractor and why they were chosen. You should also be given alternatives for higher-quality materials, as well as lower-cost alternatives.
18. Who will be responsible for the work being performed?
Is it likely that the contractor will hire a renovation supervisor to work on your project? The contractor should designate a single point of contact who can be contacted while the remodeling job is being performed.
19. Ask about the what-ifs
You'll see a lot of unanticipated — and frequently costly — surprises if you watch enough home renovation shows. It's usually impossible to anticipate everything about the conditions beneath walls, under layers of roofing materials, and below the basement foundation when you carefully prepare.
Any home remodel should, at the very least, anticipate the unexpected. Inquire about how your contractor plans to handle the what-if situations that arise and how it could influence your schedule and budget.
20. Know what happens if you’re unhappy
The contractor should make sure you are completely satisfied with the work. In fact, the contractor should be unwilling to leave until the project is exactly as you want it. Inquire about how they deal with consumer complaints and concerns regarding the quality of their service and materials.
You're paying for both a product and a service — the contractor should be completely dedicated to executing the task correctly, and it should have a strategy in place to address any difficulties that may arise.
How do I find a good remodeling contractor near me in Orlando, FL or the rest of Central Florida?
Are you in need of an experienced and reputable home remodeling contractor that has been helping homeowners fall in love with their homes again for almost 25 years? Then look no further than CDS Contractors Inc!
With our 5-star rating on Google, and commitment to 100% excellence on every job, our customers know that their home remodel is in the best hands. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create your dream home.