If you’re planning on tackling a home renovation but know you’re going to need some professional help, it’s time to start searching out the best home deals for a contractor. This isn’t a decision you should take likely, or simply hire the first option you find. If you want to be sure that you’re getting the best option for your project at the best price, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some tips to put into practice as your search out the best contractor for your home renovation project.
Do Your Research
Over 60% of American homeowners say they make purchases online. Finding the best home deals is no different. When you’re trying to find the best contractor for your home renovation project, one of the best places to start your search is online. Look at reviews for contractors in your area. If you have a particular project, such as flooring service, search out contractors that have experience with that type of work. You’ll be able to get a large list of options just by doing a few simple online searches and reading reviews. Don’t pass up looking at contractors’ websites to see if they have pictures of previous work. That will also give you a good idea for what you could expect from them. You can also ask for recommendations from friends and family.
Once you’ve got a few legitimate options, do a little more research into them specifically. You can find quite a bit on their websites. Check to see what their qualifications are, how many years of experience they have, if they’re covered by insurance, and more. If you’re looking for a contractor for a project that includes updating windows and other different window treatments, look for options that have examples on their sites of similar projects they’ve done so you can see how their work looks.
It’s also not a bad idea to search for the name of a potential contractor you’ve found along with the words “scam” or “rip-off”. This will help you find any bad reviews that you should consider before moving forward in the hiring process with that contactor. You can also contact the better business bureau to get more reviews and find out any complaints that contractors you’re considering have received in the past.
After you’ve got a list of good options, its time to talk to the contractors. Part of figuring out the best home deals for a renovation contractor is getting some specific answers. Start with phone interviews, as this allows you to conduct more interviews in a shorter amount of time. Plan to just have a quick conversation where you’ll have some more general questions answered. Have a list of questions in front of you so you remember all of the most important things to ask.
This could include:
- Do they have experience with this type of project?
- Can they give you a list or contact information for previous clients?
- When would they be able to start the project and how long would it take to finish?
- Can they give you a basic quote for the project?
- Would they be working on other projects at the same time?
- Are they willing to provide financial references?
By chatting with potential contractors about these questions, you’ll be able to get a better idea of whether their schedule and price range will fit with your specific project. You will also be able to get a better feel for the kind of person they are and whether you’d be comfortable working with them or not.
Price Reflects Quality
One major part of finding the best home deals for your renovation project is to work with a budget. This way you’ve prepared ahead of time what you’re willing to pay for certain parts of the project and what you can expect to be prepared for financially. For example, if you’re planning to do a big renovation but also want to add some smaller touches, such as new shutters, you’ll have a better idea of what type of material and style you can look for with a set budget in place.
One downfall of working on a budget is homeowners often aren’t willing to adjust throughout the project. While adjusting some areas can be dangerous, you might have to adjust to others. For example, if you’re looking for the best home deals for a contractor with your next home renovation and set a budget before you do research, you may not be willing to pay more for a better contractor when you find one. This is an area where you need to be able to adjust based on your contractor options. If you’re looking for roofing contractors but the only options that fall in your budget have bad reviews, it’s not worth it to pay less and have poor quality work done on your roof.
Price can often reflect quality in these kinds of situations. If a price seems way too good to be true, be wary. This doesn’t mean however that you should automatically choose the most expensive option. Do research on your options, conduct interviews, and be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Getting the best home deals takes a lot of work and research.
Don’t Pass Up A Face To Face Meeting
When you’ve narrowed your list down to a few good options, it’s time to meet face to face with the contractors. If conditions don’t allow for a face to face meeting, set up a video chat or a long phone call. If you can do a face to face meeting, you could even consider having the potential contractor come out to your home to see the space you want to renovate.
For example, if you’re looking for the best home deals for a backyard landscaping service, getting a contractor out to see your yard will help them have a better idea of estimates. The purpose of this meeting is to ask your options very specific questions to figure out which is the best overall choice for your project. Some of the questions you might as are:
- How long has your company been in business?
- What licensure do you have?
- What type of insurance do they have and will you need to purchase your own insurance?
- What is the breakdown for the cost of your project?
- What is a guesstimate for the timeline of the project?
- Do you have some examples of similar projects you have done that you can show me?
Take notes and even record the meeting if your contractor is comfortable with it. Once you’ve finished all of your meetings, sit down and go over your notes. Compare quotes for budget and timeline. Look at any examples they showed you of previous projects similar to yours. If you are stuck between two, ask each if they’d be willing to send a sample of a contract. Don’t feel like you’re asking too many questions. This is a big investment and will cost a large chunk of money so you want to be 100% sure of your choice. Before you make your final decision, remember that the best option is not simply the cheapest or who can get the project done the fastest. It’s a combination of the best home deals for the price, time, and who has the most experience in your specific project.
Get It In Writing
Once you have made your decision, congratulations! You’re one big step closer to completing your home renovation project. Keep in mind that deciding for a contractor does not mean your part in the project is done. You still need to stay involved in the process and in communication with your contractor to help where needed.
However, before you make any purchases or start knocking down any walls, make sure to get everything in writing. Sit down with your contractor of choice to talk through specifics and get it all legal signed for. A good contract should include:
- A payment schedule
- A start date and completion date
- Information about and proof of insurance
- Total price for the work and a breakdown
- What is expected from the contractor and their team and the homeowner
That’s not an all-inclusive list by any means. Before you sign off on the contract, you may want to have an attorney look it over to make sure you are protected.
This is also where you may want to haggle the price. To get the best home deals you need to be willing to negotiate. You need to make sure your contractor is clear of your budget expectations. You will need to decide where to cut back on materials or work if their price estimate goes over your budget. You may be able to do the labor for some smaller projects to cut back on the contractor’s price.
For example, if the work is to renovate a garage space, you could do some projects such as garage door spring repair or replacing small parts to lower the price and move the project along more quickly.
Along with the previous example of a landscaping project, you may also be able to visit a local flower shop to get good deals of greenery to plant around your space. You can do this while the professional team handles the bigger elements of the job.
Take An Active Role In The Project
Once you’ve hired your contractor and signed the contract, you’re well on your way. But that doesn’t mean you can just check out and let things get done. You need to take an active role in the project. While you want to choose a contractor that you can trust, you should also know the items and things required for your project. Educate yourself on the permits that are required for your project. The last thing you want is to have to halt your project or knock it down if it isn’t up to code.
For example, if you’ve hired window contractors to replace old windows or add new windows in a home, you need to be aware of regulations for emergency exits and window sizes from a home. The best home deals can’t come at the cost of safety.
Another example, if you’re working with a contractor to do electrical work in the home or light repairs on an old home, you need to know what permits are required and what is done to keep both the workers safe while they’re working and to keep you and your family safe once the project is done and you’re residing in the space.
Be Prepared To Make Adjustments
Home renovations don’t come without changes and adjustments along the way. Rarely will you start a project and not have to figure new things out or make changes as you’re working. You may have to adjust the timeline due to a delay in materials, you may have to alter your budget based on any issues that arise along the way. Be prepared ahead of time with a backup plan or emergency budget if possible. For example, if your contractor and their team are assisting with a kitchen renovation and are performing appliance repair services, there could be delays as they wait on parts. Or you may end up having to replace an appliance that you previously thought you could just repair. Be ready with your backup plan in hand so these adjustments don’t upset the entire project.
Don’t Forget About Your Trash
Once you’ve decided on your contractors, found all the best home deals, and are beginning the home remodeling process, be sure to not forget about dumpster rentals. Often times, when working on a renovation project, you’ll have lots of old materials that you need to get rid of. This is especially true if you are redoing your roof or doing any sort of roof repairs. All of those old shingles will need to be replaced, and therefore, the old shingles will need to be thrown out. The same goes for floor remodels. Be sure to consider a dumpster rental as it will be a smart thing to keep in mind if you have multiple large projects going on at any one point in time.
Depending on where you live, there may be different code restrictions for access to dumpsters, or potentially the town or city can provide you with a dumpster for a day instead of having to rent on yourself. To rent a dumpster, be sure to check with the municipality where you live about dumpsters in the area and access prior to renting one yourself.
Similarly, considering also which materials, if any, are available to be recycled. Be sure to keep these items separate from those that you are throwing into the dumpster, however.
Seeking out the best home deals for a home renovation project and picking a contractor to handle the work is a big decision. You will need to spend a lot of time researching and communicating with different options to ensure that you find the best choice for your project. While it’s a big decision, it’s doesn’t have to be an extremely stressful one. By following these steps, you will have a much smoother process and will be well on your way to finishing your home renovation to get the home of your dreams.