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What Should I Look for in a Remodeling Contractor?

Sarah E. White
Sarah E. White

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when a home repair project must be done that you can’t tackle yourself. Whether your home is getting rewired or you’re remodeling a bathroom, at some point you’ll need to find a remodeling contractor. Choosing a remodeling contractor should take a lot of time and thought. This is a person who’s going to be very involved in a major project in your home. He or she is probably going to be in and out of your house a lot, so you need to find a remodeling contractor who will do the work well and whom you get along with.

First, decide exactly what you want to have done. Scope out the project and determine all the details that will be involved. Will there be electrical work? Woodworking? Painting? Installation of new walls? If you have a good idea of what you want done before you start talking to a remodeling contractor, you will be a lot better off.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Start your search for a remodeling contractor with friends and acquaintances who might have had work done in the past. They can either recommend someone who did a good job on their home or help you avoid a contractor with whom they had a bad experience. You might also try asking your real estate agent. They usually have contacts in lots of related businesses, and may even be able to help you get a good deal.

Once you’ve narrowed down a list of remodeling contractors you want to talk to, there are a few key things that will help you make up your mind:

  • Is the remodeling contractor licensed, bonded, and insured? If not, you don’t want to work with them.
  • Will they show you before and after pictures of projects similar to yours? This will give you an idea of the kind of work they have done before and whether it suits your taste.
  • Will they give you references? Call the references and make sure that they are really happy with the whole experience of having the work done, as well as with the results.
  • Do you like the person? Remodeling projects have a way of dragging on, so you might end up seeing a lot more of this person than you expect. If you can’t stand her or he makes you nervous, that’s not the person to hire.
  • How much will the project cost? Money should always be a consideration, but you shouldn’t automatically go with the low bidder.
  • Does the remodeling contractor seem pushy? Is he trying to tell you to do the work in a way you don’t want, or does she seem to be tacking on things you don’t need? These are not people you want to work with.

After you have evaluated all these issues, it should be quite easy for you to choose the best remodeling contractor for your project and your budget.

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