We know it can be overwhelming when it comes to determining which company will be the best fit for your remodeling needs. As a team that has been running a successful home improvement company for over 30 years, we have seen a lot of contractors and construction companies come and go. In order to help you make the best decision you can, we want to provide you with some unbiased advice and sources for selecting a contractor. We pulled together the best of the best some of our most trusted sources and have linked to articles (in red) that all list components or details that contributed to our top 5 tips. We will also include brief mentions of how we adhere to each of these standards as an example and so you have information on us to use when making your decision. Of course, we cannot provide every detail of our process here since it varies based on your project size, needs, and personal preferences, so be sure to contact us for a free consultation and quote if you are interested in learning more.
1. Pricing: "You Get What You Pay For" For most homeowners, you’ll begin a project with a specific budget in mind. Others may choose to specify the details of the project and see what prices are provided to them. Let’s say you’ve received several quotes or bids, and they all seem to be in the same price range with the exception of one that is exceptionally lower. Any experienced, reputable contractor is going to tell you to immediately disregard that company. The lower price most likely means the contractor is cutting corners, using cheaper materials, or will add on costs down the road. Paying less with them now, means paying more later to fix or redo it. Don’t count out the highest bid either. Find out why that bid is higher. Are they using better quality materials? Is their warranty including more and covered by the manufacturer? Compare the details closely to see where your money is being spent in each quote. 2. Credentials: Licensed and Insured On each and every sales appointment, whether it’s a free quote or a final contract signing, our salespeople carry copies of our licensing and insurance paperwork. We ensure all customers and potential customers know that we are abiding by all the legal regulations for a company like ours. Always ensure your contractor is properly licensed and insured. Not checking for these is the easiest way to get scammed in this industry. How easy is your contractor to get in touch with? Do they have a publicly available office location, mailing address, phone number, email, and website? If you have trouble finding them now, odds are they will be harder to find if something goes wrong. 3. Experience: Company Reliability Steer clear of businesses without an established reputation and proven experience over time. Approximately 25% of construction businesses fail in their first year. Plus, smaller contractors are 10x more likely to fail in their first year when compared to larger contractors. Nearly two out of every three (roughly 64%) go out of business in their first 5 years. When you use a business that closes, you lose any guarantees, warranties, or potential for fixed mistakes. Sometimes this can even happen when your project is only halfway done. Even if an individual contractor has twenty years of experience, if the business is new, there still is a strong possibility it will fail, and you’ll be left in the same situation. 4. Recommendations: Seeing is Believing Look or ask for examples of projects similar to yours in size and design. Know their specialty so you ensure you get the most qualified person for your job. Get references or check reviews. If you see a pattern over time, odds are it will continue. Check with the Better Business Bureau. They provide a rating of how customer service and complaints are handled by the business based on actual issues they oversee. They also provide how long the company has been certified by them. Companies without social media profiles with customer interaction or with websites free of reviews should be vetted closely to ensure there isn’t a lack of information for a reason like avoiding bad reviews or lack of business history or experience.
5. Contract: Double Check and Sign Always get your home improvement contract in writing and signed by both parties. Keeping records of everything is extremely important. You want to ensure everything from material specifications to color selections to price details is included. Keep records of payments made, and only pay in a traceable manner. You also want to make multiple payments to ensure the project is kept on track until completion when you render final payment. Ensure that you keep these records for years to come in case of potential warranty work or any needs that may arise. Remember as you’re working with a contractor to be flexible to a point. Some changes in timeline and budget are to be expected, but should be kept within reason. Any project is subject to unforeseen issues that may delay or elongate it. Weather plays a role in any outdoor project’s timeline, and contractors rely on suppliers for materials that may see unexpected delays or issues. If there are unclear reasons for constant delays or unexpected costs although, you should have a formal conversation with your contractor to determine the issue and how you want to proceed. The key is communication and detail in your selection. Do your due diligence, and your home improvement project will be one you value for years to come.