Need a general contractor to complete that much-needed renovation? Finding someone you trust can be a daunting task. Reviews are a great way to hear from others, but are they enough? We spoke to Paul Napolitano of Royal Home Improvements, a residential renovation general contractor, about what to consider when hiring a contractor for your next home renovation.
The following tips will help you to choose a contractor to perform your renovation.
Ask for credentials
Established contractors will have a package of information intended for this purpose. Ask to see confirmation that the contractor is licensed and carries the proper insurance. There is a cost to being a licensed/insured contractor but the benefits are there for both the client and the renovator.
Industry associations provide their members with education and information in exchange for fees and guarantees regarding behaviour. Credential checks should include confirming membership in associations with positive reputations. Visit the Better Business Bureau online to see contractor ratings and determine which industry associations a contractor is affiliated with. Royal Home Improvements is in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the national RenoMark program. The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) has vetted and recommended suppliers who align with the needs and values of older Canadians. Royal Home Improvements is the only CARP Recommended residential renovation general contractor in Canada.
Get it in writing
Be clear and detailed about the scope of work, quality of materials and schedule expectations. If your contractor has the right information they can provide an accurate estimate and work plan. Ask for a proposal and contract in writing even for simple jobs. If the documents contain a clear and complete description of the scope of work, payment schedule and warranty then there is a good foundation for success. If not, look elsewhere. With regards to the warranty, always get a look at a warranty certificate ahead of time.
Cheaper isn’t always better
A significantly lower price could be a sign that the contractor is inexperienced or is using lower quality materials. When the spread between prices is very large take the time to ask more questions to ensure you are receiving everything you require for the number quoted.
Given that trust is generally earned over time through consistency and good performance, look for a contractor with a track record. Reading online reviews can be useful when choosing a contractor, however, reviews don’t always provide the details you need. That’s why Royal Home Improvements recommends a contractor provide you with at least three references from jobs similar to yours. Then call or visit and be sure to ask about quality of work, how the contractor handled the schedule and problems if they arose. Ask how well they communicated and if the owner would hire the contractor again. Most established contractors will take you to an active renovation project where you can get a sense of job site cleanliness and work safety.
You’re ready to hire
You’ve followed the suggestions and found contractors experienced with your project and prices that match your budget. Now get agreement on how and when you will meet to discuss the project status and decisions. Communications are critical. And the contractor you select will be working in your home so make sure there is agreement on how they will take care of your space. If you’ve done all this now select the contractor you feel comfortable with and can trust.
You can trust the experts at Royal Home Improvements. Visit their profile on our website for advice, customer reviews and more!