Remodeling Construction Companies: Top Tips for Choosing the Best
How do you evaluate remodeling construction companies so you can work with the best one for your home improvement project? Read on to know our best tips!
Home improvement projects might not be the national pastime, but they’re still popular among homeowners. After all, American homeowners started over 13 million home improvement and remodeling projects just in 2018.
Of course, most remodeling projects also involve hiring a remodeling construction company. That’s old hat for the home improvement veteran, but it’s often daunting for someone considering their first project.
Let’s say that you’ve never hired a contractor before. It’s not always clear what you should look for in a company. If you’re new to the home improvement process, keep reading for our top tips for choosing a remodeling construction company.
Get Clear on Your Project
The first thing you need before you talk with any contractor is a clear picture of your project. If you don’t have a good idea of what you want, no remodeling company can give you what you want.
For example, you can’t just call up a company and say you want a kitchen remodel. Does that mean you want all new cabinets, appliances, and flooring? Does it mean you want refaced cabinets and a better countertop?
It’s also good if you know what you can realistically afford to spend. Contractors can give you much better information if you present a clear picture and budget.
Ask Around for Referrals
Kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling are two very popular projects. That means someone in your personal network has probably had one done in the recent past. Ask around among your friends and family for recommendations for bathroom remodeling companies or kitchen remodeling companies.
If you’re looking to remodel something outside of those areas, you’ll probably want home remodeling companies. When in doubt, ask about general contractors.
General contractors often specialize in particular areas, such as new home building or renovations. If you speak with a contractor who doesn’t do renovations, they can often provide a referral to another contractor who takes on that kind of work.
Look for Reviews Online
Another way you can get information about a good bathroom or kitchen remodeling company is through online reviews. Online review sites let people publish unvarnished reactions about the service they received. Good review sites also let the companies respond.
Seeing what people say and how companies react to what people say can give you a good picture of what you can expect. Let’s say that someone complains online about a remodeling company.
Does the company get defensive or explain what they did to try to make things right? If the company explains the steps they took, it’s probably a good sign that the company acts in good faith.
Look Through Portfolios
Much like a graphic artist, remodeling companies often maintain portfolios of their recent projects. This gives you a good sense of what kind of results the company gets. Although, it’s important to remember that budget also plays a role in how the finished project looks.
A portfolio also helps confirm what kind of projects the company typically works on. If you’re looking to remodel a bathroom, you want a company with several bathroom projects under their belt. If all you see are kitchen or living room projects, you may want to look for more options.
Check on Their Credentials
Requirements vary between states and counties, but most places require that contractors maintain a license, bond, and general liability insurance. Many companies provide this information on their websites. If not, you can ask the company for their license, bond, and insurance information.
You can also look at third-party sites, such as the Better Business Bureau, for more information. The BBB provides information about open and resolved complaints. It also provides business address information and sometimes even contractor license numbers.
Get Bids from Several Remodeling Companies
Don’t get an estimate from one remodeling company and stop there. You should get estimates from at least three or four contractors. Here’s why.
That many estimates give you a good picture of what a given project will likely cost. It also lets you know if a company is high-balling or low-balling the project.
While a low-ball or high-ball estimate isn’t necessarily a bad one, it shouldn’t stray too far from the ballpark. If you get an estimate that proves dramatically lower or higher than the others, you should take a pass.
A very low bid can serve as a tell-tale sign of inexperience or that the company is desperate for work. Either situation can prove bad for you as the customer.
A very high bid can mean the company will try to milk you for more than the project is worth.
Look for Detailed Estimates
You should take a close look at each estimate you get. A good estimate will provide you with a lot of information, such as a cost breakdown. In general, a cost breakdown should run about like this:
- Materials – 40% of the total cost
- Labor – 40% of the total cost
- Profit – 20% of the total cost
There is some flexibility here. If you want special marble for a countertop, that can drive up the materials cost. If you live in an old home, that can create challenges that will drive up the labor costs.
A line-item estimate should specify what materials will get used and where. The contractor should also list an estimate for total project time, any permits, and company information.
Picking between Remodeling Construction Companies
Picking between remodeling construction companies means considering several issues.
You must consider cost, both overall and in terms of each company. You must also weigh recommendations and reviews. The trust you place in recommendations may outweigh anything you read in online reviews.
Your impression of the company should also play a role. If the company makes you uneasy, you should pick a different company. After all, these people will spend time inside your home.
Lion Group Construction specializes in remodeling projects. For more information or a remodeling estimate, contact Lion Group construction today.