You’ve decided to renovate your home and the process to begin this may seem overwhelming.  After determining your budget, the next step will be to locate a contractor.  This step will be one of the most important steps in the progress of your home remodeling.  It can either make the whole process stress free or it could become a frustrating and long project. Below are some recommendations to help a homeowner determine what to look for in a contractor.

Hiring Your Contractor

Do you know any family or friends that have recently had remodeling done on their home?  If so, ask their opinion on their contractor.  Be sure to research the contractors you have found on the internet and through these contacts.  You will want to first determine if the contractor is licensed and insured, if required.  Search their website and social media accounts for reviews and photos of projects the contractor has completed.

Once you have decided to set up a consultation, it’s important to take note of their response time to all communications.  Mind you a 24 – 48 hour response is normal. When leaving a message for the contractor, leave the hours you are available for a return phone call.  Most contractors work long hours and do not like to call the home owners late at night.

Make sure if you have a clear idea for the project at the time of the consultation.  At this time you can share photos or drawings with the contractor.  If you are unsure and would like the advice of your contractor, be clear on the budget you want to stay within.

Initial Consultation

Upon your first consultation with the contractor it is important you feel comfortable with him and he is communicating with you in terms you understand.  If you have any questions, be sure to voice them at this time.  If you think of any questions after your first appointment, contact him through email so there is documentation of your conversation.

Communicate with your contractor your expectations of the project area clean up.  It is important to find out if the cleanup is in the cost of the bid.   At this time the contractor will need to work on a bid for your project. The amount of time that will be needed to prepare this information depends on the scope of work.

Before you sign a contract with your contractor, check with the state, county or city he is licensed and check to be sure his insurance is current. Check work area nightly for any problem areas and call them to your contractor’s attention the next morning. Take photos of the work in progress so you have a physical record of it.

Once Your Contractor is Hired

When the project in your home begins, it’s important to communicate with your contractor on a regular basis.  At the end of the day, walk through the project and take photos to record all progress and it is good for reviewing if you have any questions.  When you have a question for your contractor about an area, it might help to have a photo to refer to in an email conversation.

If you are ordering the materials, make sure any unused materials can be returned.  If your contractor is ordering the materials, there is most always extra material that will be ordered so there will be no disruption during production.

Good communication with your contractor is important so that there are no misunderstandings and problems can be fixed immediately.  Communication through email is the fastest and easiest way to document conversations so there are no misunderstandings.

End of the Project

Once the project is completed and you and your contractor have gone through the jobsite. Both your contractor and you may want to take photos for documentation and before final billing.  If you have appreciated and enjoyed your contractor, the simplest way to show your appreciation is giving him a good review online.  Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Houzz and other sites your contractor is on are great for future homeowners to know your contractor is an honest and hardworking contractor.  Post photos of your project and share with your friends and family on social media and refer him as well.