Home Remodelers Survival Guide #7- What to Look for in a Contractor

Does your contractor keep his appointments? Yes, a contractor’s day can be busy and things do come up that interfere with his schedule, but promptness is an important factor. This may sound a bit “oldfashioned” but if he is willing to break an appointment, what other commitments is he also willing to break? Little things count. If he’s running behind he should have the courtesy to call to let you know.
Honesty and trust are of the utmost importance in any situation, especially when the person has total access to your home. Make sure you feel a high level of trust with your contractor and trust your instinct if you don’t. Not only are you trusting him to be in your home and around your family, you’re also trusting him with, in many cases, a very sizable amount of your money!
Membership in NAHB or NARI
NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders, NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. In order to become a member, the contractor’s background and references are investigated. It’s always a good idea to hire a NAHB or NARI contractor. Membership reflects a contractor’s commitment to professionalism. Trade Associations are the “collective intelligence” of their trade and provide their members with valuable training on how to successfully operate a business, best practices, new products, new ideas, and networking opportunities with others in their industry. In short, it keeps a business owner from reinventing the wheel – if they take advantage of the opportunities offered!
Both organizations offer industry certification and designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler™ (CGR) and Certified Remodeler™ (CR). If a contractor has earned either one of these designations, chances are high that you’re dealing with a very reputable professional that is committed to his career as a professional remodeling contractor.
Furthermore, to earn either of these designations a contractor must demonstrate certain levels of skill and knowledge in addition to successfully completing numerous courses on various topics related to the industry.
What to look for in a Contractor High Percentage of Referrals or Repeat Clients
When a significant amount of a contractor’s business is derived from repeat or referred business, it is an indication that his clients are pleased and that he has an outstanding reputation. If your contractor has a long list of happy clients and has an outstanding reputation for doing quality work, chances are high that you will be satisfied as well.
Simply put, remodeling can be very dusty and dirty. If not adequately controlled, dust will get everywhere, especially if there is a lot of sanding or demolition. Make sure your contractor has plans to take the appropriate measures to control dust and protect your floor finishes. This can increase the price a contractor quotes by a considerable amount and this is work which is often overlooked by inexperienced or nonprofessional contractors.