By law, any company with projects over $600 must maintain a valid builder’s license.
Request the company’s builder’s license number, and verify here: Michigan.gov
Even the best remodelers can make a mistake. The good ones carry insurance to protect you if something goes wrong.
Request proof of insurance.
You might be surprised to find out that some well-known companies can’t even dig up three happy clients!
That’s because some companies spend a lot of money on marketing, instead of referrals, to keep work coming in. So even if you’ve heard of a company, they might not have many referrals or repeat clients.
Request a minimum of three references — three clients that paid the company for their work.
We’ve heard horror stories about contractors that disappear for months with no warning, leaving the homeowner to wonder where their money went.
You may not get ahold of your contractor every time you call, but if they never answer, they might be trying to avoid their clients.
Prevent “vanishing contractor syndrome” by asking yourself one question:
Does the company answer the phone when you call, or do you leave a voicemail every time?
If you called once and left a voicemail, call again in 24 hours to see if anyone picks up.
In order for your vision to become a reality, your remodeler must be a good listener.
One of the most common tragedies in the remodeling industry is remodelers who don’t listen to your needs, and make their own assumptions. This problem remains hidden until your project is underway, when the work looks wrong and you realize that you and your remodeler are not on the same wavelength.
On your first meeting, watch for the remodeler’s ability to listen and understand what you’re looking for. If they repeat back what you’re asking for, you’ve probably found a good listener who will remodel your home to reflect your taste.
Every large remodeling project will run into minor snags, so you need a remodeler with good problem-solving skills, and the experience and knowledge to address remodeling problems without getting stressed or frustrated.
Ask as many questions as you can about your project, the remodeler’s past experience, their labor force, and what they’ll do when they run into unexpected problem.
After discussing your project, a remodeler might accidentally leave items out of the quote they give you.
If something’s not in writing, it probably won’t happen for the quoted price. In other words, if you agree to a quote or contract, and later realize that something is missing, the contractor may ask you to pay more.
When you receive a quote or a contract, check that it includes everything you talked about with the remodeler.
Commonly, the best value is not the cheapest price. Some companies offer to beat any price, and those are often the ones that cut every corner, use the cheapest materials and products, and fight you over what was and was not included in your contract.
When you evaluate a contractor, see if they give you confidence that doing the job right, with good materials, is more important to them than charging the lowest price.
The initial deposit for a remodel usually doesn’t cover the entire cost of materials and labor for the job. If a remodeler runs low on funds, this can stop production and cause you much grief.
Without digging into a company’s financials, a few visual cues can help you determine whether a remodeler has the stability to keep your project going, and isn’t simply desparate for your desposit.
Check: when the company visits you, do they have newer vehicles that are in good shape, maybe even with custom graphics?
Has the company invested in a professional-looking website?
These simple visual clues are usually good indicators of stability.
Although your remodeler should have self-confidence in their abilities, you don’t want an arrogant jerk.
A remodeler with a good attitude will be much easier to work with throughout your project, leaving you with the outcome you want, and a good experience throughout.
You’ll get a good sense of a remodeler’s attitude when you speak to them, but it can especially help to see whether they treat you with respect when you ask questions.
Do they answer your questions to your satisfaction?
If you have any questions about your home remodeling project and what could be possible for your home, just call us at (248) 916-7041, or fill out the form below.
Schedule a free remodeling consultation to discuss how you can get the best results for your home. Fill out the form below.