6 Tips to Choose a Trustworthy Remodeler
A remodeling project gone wrong can be one of the most frustrating experiences a homeowner can have—but it’s even worse when the remodeler refuses to take responsibility for their mistakes. Some are even professional scam artists, from “general handymen” who know nothing about plumbing to contractors who offer you faulty windows at a tenth of the price you’ve been hearing from others. For home improvement jobs ranging from window replacements to metal roofing, it’s important to go with a qualified, legitimate home remodeler.
So how can you verify a remodeler’s legitimacy? Here are six quick tips to help you sort through the piles of contractors out there for the most trustworthy ones!
1. Check their accreditations. Make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and fully insured. While you’re at this, ask for a copy of their insurance policy, and make sure to brush up on what’s covered by your homeowners insurance.
2. Ask for references. Try to talk to previous clients to see whether the remodeler followed through on their promises. If the company uses subcontractors—which is often less than ideal in terms of accountability—try to get in touch with the subcontractors to ask if they get paid on time.
3. Be suspicious of high up-front payments. If a contractor asks you for more than 20% of your total cost up front, there’s a decent chance they will not want to complete your project or, just as bad, perform a shoddy job and not pick up the phone when problems start to occur.
4. Examine their warranty policy. Does the company offer anything beyond a manufacturer warranty, and, if so, for how long? More reputable companies will usually offer the best warranties because they’re confident in the quality of their products.
5. Look for complaints. Good places to find valuable information are disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau, and local court records. If you do find complaints, pay attention to how the remodeler tried to address them.
6. Peruse customer reviews. Good places to find reviews include Houzz, Yelp, and the remodeler’s own website. While even some good remodelers will get the occasional low-star review, make sure to pay attention to how they address the customer’s complaintsWhether you’re renovating in hopes of selling your home or giving it a touch-up for the short-term, it’s better to do your research in advance. Your home is your most valuable possession – just as you wouldn’t grab someone off the street to give you a medical checkup, you shouldn’t hire just any remodeler who offers you a “great deal.” Making sure you are prepared and informed before letting someone work on your home will save you a lot of time and money in the long-run!