Selecting a Professional
Now that you have identified what type of professional you need for your remodeling project, the next step is to find that individual and verify they are who they say they are.
Finding a professional
Word-of-mouth referrals continue to be the most common way for homeowners to find a local remodeler. These are your best sources for leads:
- business colleagues
- real estate agents
- local material supplier (lumber yards, specialty product providers, etc)
Selecting a reliable, qualified pro
Finding a qualified professional remodeling contractor for your home improvement project doesn't have to be a difficult task. By following these guidelines you will make the selection process easier and be better prepared to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.
Local remodelers are compelled to perform quality work that satisfies their customers for their business to survive. Local firms can be checked through references from past customers in your community or through your local NARI chapter.
Another advantage to hiring a local professional who works in your city or town is they will know the local building code and permit requirements. Building codes vary considerably from each jurisdiction and are known to change from year to year. Most structural work or footprint expansions require permits.
Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed, bonded and/or insured. Contact your state or local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor meets all requirements. Most states require a contractor to carry worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance. Ask for a copy of their license and insurance certificate to make sure that it is current.
Get complaint violations.
Check with your Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no complaints on record for the contractor. Check to make sure they are a NARI member.
Get comparable estimates.
If you solicit estimates from more than one remodeling contractor, be sure they are working off the same scope and quality of work. Discuss variations in prices, and beware of any estimate that is substantially lower than the others.
A good remodeling professional educates clients on green remodeling, universal design, lead safety, new products, building technique and trends. Make sure you’re hiring someone who has knowledge and expertise relevant to the remodeling industry.
If a professional is not offering references, homeowners should ask for them and follow up with a site visit or phone call.