October 03, 2016 / by Gregg Cantor / In
In our last article, we laid out some of the most important criteria to factor in choosing the best remodeling contractor for your next home improvement project. Even if you’ve already checked the company’s license and insurance policy details and BBB accreditation, there is still a number of factors that could (and sometimes should) make you go for a different remodeling company. Here’s the checklist we prepared for you.
We insisted that a license tells a reliable story about a company’s credibility. Yet, it says little about the quality of customer service and customer satisfaction. To check if the remodeling company you are about to hire has a solid track record of positive customer experience, check out their reviews on Angie’s List, Houzz, Yelp, Google Reviews, as well as Guild Quality.
Here’s where you should also rely on the word-of-mouth. If you are going for a local remodeling company, ask around your neighborhood or on forums.
Checking out a contractor’s portfolio is an excellent way to see if their work fits your personal style and preferences. Check out their gallery or showroom and you should have a clearer idea of how they might contribute to your home.
Even though you could go through the process of obtaining a construction permit yourself, we advise you to at least consult your contractor. Remember, you should deal only with contractors licensed by the State of California. Licensed and experienced contractors have the necessary know-how in handling permits and assisting their customers.
Mind you, it is still your responsibility, but who’s to say you won’t forget to schedule a required inspection and thus risk the final approval of your project? A reliable contractor is familiar with the inspection procedure, so they can schedule regular inspections at specific points into the project and remind you accordingly.
Before you decide to hire a remodeling company, always ask them for the total cost estimate. You can easily see if a company has experience in working on projects similar to yours by how they will account for all the necessary costs and expenses. Don’t forget that an estimate is not the final price, but it should at least be in the vicinity of the total cost.
When providing a customer with a project cost estimate, a contractor has to make sure all the services, products and materials are included. Some contractors may have contractor or designer discounts with major manufacturers, so they are able to offer more competitive prices.
A full-service contractor will have in-house staff working on the project, while others may hire subcontractors to carry out parts of the project. Either way, the cost estimate should clearly state all the services. You should also be aware of possible additional costs, so you can create a solid budget contingency plan.
Payment in Advance
Home remodeling is a complex process and involves a number of stages, regardless of the types of services it will require. That is why it is only logical that your contractor enables you to pay in installments, or at least pay for parts of the project as they are completed. You should be well aware of all the individual costs and how they relate to the overall cost estimate.
Home improvement projects, especially those larger in scope, rarely take a short time to complete. During that time, construction workers and other professional staff will frequent your home, so you need to make sure you know when they supposed to show up. For that reason, check with your contractor how they plan on keeping you in the loop. Will it be by phone, email or in person? Will there be a dedicated project manager or any other contact person? Since it is your home, you have the right to demand respect and consideration, and a trustworthy contractor will try to complete the project with minimum inconvenience to you and your family.
Murray Lampert – Your #1 Remodeling Company in San Diego
As a full-service design/build contractor with four decades of experience and four generations of dedicated remodeling enthusiasts, Murray Lampert is the San Diego remodeling company for every home improvement project. Our stellar reputation has been repeatedly confirmed by 5-star reviews from our many satisfied customers. Call us today and let us know how we can make your home better!