Selecting and Working with a Home Remodeling Contractor

Selecting and Working with a Home Remodeling Contractor


Home Remodeling Contractor

Is it time for you to update the kitchen and guest bathroom? Are you considering adding a dormer to your Cape Cod? Whatever the scope of your home remodeling project, you’ll want to make sure that financing is in place and that you have found the right home contractor for the job. Assuming that you are good to go financially, let’s examine the steps you should take to select and work with a home remodeling contractor.

You’ve seen the reports on the evening news — a homeowner contracts with a remodeling contractor to add a deck, fix a front stoop, or renovate a basement and a problem crops up. Maybe the work has been completed, but the homeowner has since spotted warped wood on the deck, bricks crumbling on the front stoop, or a basement that leaks like a sieve. Or, a deposit was given for work that was never started — the supposed home improvement contractor has skipped town.

While these reports make for interesting consumer news, nobody wants to be the victim mentioned. In most cases these problems could have been avoided had the homeowner had taken the time to finding a contractor who was not only trustworthy but possessed the knowledge to get the job done right. Read on and we’ll take a look at finding the right contractor for the your home improvement project.

Screening Home Remodeling Contractors

When selecting the contractor, you’ll want to screen possible contractors first. This involves finding qualified contractors in your service area and obtaining references from customers who have used their service.

If you hire a general contractor, they may not be the ones who will be completing every aspect of your home improvement project as subcontractors could be used. Each person who is used must be capable of completing their portion of the work (i.e, a bricklayer must be able to lay down a new front stoop), therefore hiring a general contractor who can capably oversee all subcontractors is essential. A personal interview of each contractor will establish their ability to get the work done.

Verifying NARI Membership

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) represents remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, and other industry specialists. The association is committed to enhancing the professionalism of the remodeling industry and serves as an ally to the homeowner. The NARI recommends that homeowners who are working with the contractor do the following:

  • Verify the name, physical address, phone number and credentials of the home contractor.
  • Avoid sales pitches where a special rate is given in exchange for a home being featured for advertising purposes.
  • Verify that licensing and insurance information is valid.
  • Make payment to the company in the form of cash or money order. You should not make a full payment in advance nor should you write a check out payable to the salesperson.
  • Take a look at the contract. What sort of warranty or guarantee is being offered? Can you cancel the contract within 3 days of signing? Notification in writing of your Right of Recision is required by law. This grace period allows you to change your mind and declare the contract null and void without penalty to you (if the agreement was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premises – at your residence, for example).

Be cautious going with any building contractor who exhibits poor communication skills, is vague about the project, fails to answer questions directly, or comes across as impatient. Watch out for bids that come in very low; your remodeling contractor should be able to defend his price without getting defensive.

Once you have verified that the home contractor can do the job, you’ve checked his references, and have verified that his business is legitimate than you are ready to get started with your project.

Do you need financing for your home remodeling project? Visit YourEquity to explore options available to you.


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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".