9 Things to Look for in a Contractor

In this blog, we continue our series of how to choose the right home remodeling professional for your remodeling project, by tackling 9 things to look for in a contractor.  Knowing this information will help you feel more confident as you research the best remodeling contractor for your project.

  1. Accessibility

Your contractor must be easy to reach by phone and email and never make you feel like you are imposing on them by contacting him or her.

  1. Promptness

Does your contractor keep appointments? A contractor’s day can be busy; if they are running behind, they should have the courtesy to call to let you know. Little things count.

  1. Trustworthiness

Honesty and trust are of the utmost importance in any situation, especially when the person has total access to your home. Make sure you feel a high level of trust with your contractor and trust your instinct if you don’t. Not only are you trusting them to be in your home and around your family, but you’re also trusting them with, in many cases, a sizable amount of your money!

  1. Membership in NARI or NAHB

NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders. To become a member, the contractor’s background and references are investigated. It’s always a good idea to hire a NARI or NAHB contractor. Membership reflects a contractor’s commitment to professionalism.

  1. Certifications

Both organizations offer industry certification and designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler™ (CGR), Certified Remodeler™ (CR), Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler™ (CKBR) and Green Certified Professional™ (GCP) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). If a contractor has one or more of these designations, chances are high that you’re dealing with a very reputable professional that is committed to their career as a professional remodeling contractor.

Furthermore, to earn one of these designations a contractor must demonstrate certain levels of skill and knowledge in addition to successfully completing numerous courses on various topics related to the industry.

  1. Ability to design your project

Unless your project is simple, you will want to work with a contractor that will start with a design phase complete with a feasibility study to develop both the remodel and a budget that will work for you. Design/Build contractors will work with you to develop space planning and floor plans. They will lead you through the multitude of choices that must be made. Most importantly they will work with you to balance the choices with the ultimate budget for your project. This planning stage prior to moving forward with your remodel will ensure that all the details have been addressed and that the possibility of unexpected extra expenses will be minimized.

  1. Knowledge of Green Remodeling Technology

In today’s world of high energy prices and limited resources, it is critical that your contractor is up to date regarding incorporating eco-friendly green techniques and features into every project. The common misconception is that green remodeling will cost more. The reality is that extremes in anything will cost more, and a well-balanced plan will respect your budget.

A contractor that is focused on the green aspects of remodeling will be more conscious of not wasting materials, recycling the used appliances, fixtures, and reusable building materials. This will save money and give you a tax deduction for donating used materials to charitable organizations. By viewing your home as a system rather than an accumulation of parts, your contractor will commonly incorporate many choices and techniques into every project that will improve your home’s performance and not necessarily cost more than uneducated choices.

  1. High Percentage of Referrals or Repeat Clients

When a significant amount of a contractor’s business is derived from repeat or referred business, it is an indication that their clients are pleased and that they have an outstanding reputation. If your contractor has a long list of happy clients and has an outstanding reputation for doing quality work, chances are high that you will be satisfied as well.

  1. Will Your Home Be Protected?

Simply put, remodeling can be very dusty and dirty. If not adequately controlled, dust will get everywhere, especially if there is a lot of sanding or demolition. Make sure your contractor has plans to take the appropriate measures to control dust and protect your floor finishes.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

Avoid Three Common Misconceptions When Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Your home is one of your most valuable assets. Selecting the right contractor will be the single most important factor in determining whether you will be completely satisfied with the outcome of your remodeling project. Every contractor brings a different level of knowledge, commitment, and dedication to the table.  In this blog, we share how to avoid three common misconceptions when hiring a remodeling contractor. The more you can become intimately aware of the “ins and outs” of how the remodeling business works, acquire the necessary knowledge and tools, you will be empowered to find the right contractor for your project.

Avoid These Three Common Misconceptions

Misconception #1 – You should always get three bids

Not necessarily. This tactic is probably responsible for more dissatisfaction within the remodeling industry than any other single factor.

Why?

If your objective is to get a quality job at a fair price, simply comparing it to another estimate is often very misleading. There aren’t any standard prices or standard specifications for remodeling projects. Each quote or estimate you receive reflects what’s included in the actual job that a contractor is planning on completing for you. Asking contractors to price involved projects with preliminary information and then trying to scrutinize the details of the resulting bid will only lead to misjudgments. Every contractor will get better pricing on some things than others. Seeing an item on a proposal that looks high does not mean that everything on the form is overpriced. Seeing lower prices may mean that the contractor will run out of money prior to finishing your project or that the quality of your project will suffer.

Misconception #2 – Going with a low price saves you money!

Think about this for a minute. If you have solicited several bids and go with the contractor that has the lowest bid, you’ve just awarded your job to the guy that just figured out the CHEAPEST way to get your project done!

Is this what you really want?

One of the most common signs of trouble ahead is someone offering to do work for a low price. Like the age-old sayings go: “You get what you pay for!” and “You can’t get something for nothing!” Be extremely careful in choosing your contractor based upon the lowest price. But you may be thinking: “Well, if all things are equal, going with the lowest price is smart buying! Isn’t it?”

Absolutely, 100% yes! But things are almost NEVER, EVER equal in the remodeling business!

Even if you have the most complete set of professional drawings and a twenty-five-page written set of specifications describing every little detail, things can still be vastly different from one contractor to the next.

What is true, though, is the more detail the better. They are critical to helping establish expectations.

The bottom line: NEVER use price alone as the determining factor. Low-priced bids should be cautiously reviewed as it could indicate that the contractor may have left something out in his bid which could lead him to cut corners or have to divide his time working two remodeling projects at the same time so that he can remain afloat while finishing your project.

Many other things should be taken into consideration as well. Whenever you encounter a low-price offer, some questions should immediately come to mind. Questions like:

“Why is the price so low?” “What’s missing here?” and “Has the contractor figured enough into the cost to provide me with the level of service I expect?”

On the other hand, if you have found a contractor that you really feel good about, but their price is more than you can afford or you simply do not want to invest as much as has been quoted, just explain this to the contractor. A professional contractor will welcome the opportunity to help you redesign your project or make whatever changes are necessary in order to better fit your budget. If you are open to scaling back the project, re-examining your priorities, or making other changes, this approach can be very helpful.

Misconception #3 – If the Better Business Bureau doesn’t have any complaints against the contractor, they are probably a safe bet.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is always a good place to start when investigating, but it should not be the stopping point. Even if a contractor doesn’t have any BBB complaints, it does not necessarily mean that you’re working with a reputable professional. We encourage you to investigate the company further.

The BBB is not a governing agency and it does not keep a record of every contractor in town. Many contractors can operate for years doing poor work without ever being reported. Likewise, there may be several very reputable contractors that the BBB has no record of at all.

The best way to utilize the BBB is to check with them to see if the contractor you may be considering has had any complaints against them. If they do, you should consider it an indication that this contractor may not be a good choice. If there are no complaints against the contractor you are investigating, this may indicate a good reputation, however, we strongly encourage you to do research beyond the BBB.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

We’ve created a consumer awareness guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” to help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

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