Your home is, by far, your most important and expensive investment and the best way to take care of it is to hire a good professional builder or remodeler. Basically, the most important aspect of finding and hiring the best professional is their quality of service. This will result in a high-quality finished product – one that you can be proud to own and live in. But there are pitfalls in the process of locating a good and dependable builder and remodeler. You have to know what to look for. Here are three essential qualities to be aware of:
Builder and Remodeler Professionalism
Does the builder maintain a permanent mailing address and a professional phone number that you can easily locate? This should include a well-maintained website, professional email address and social media presence. You will want this sort of easy accessibility in a builder should there ever be critical times during the construction or remodeling process.
Trust is a huge part of choosing a remodeler. You want to deal with someone who is completely above board. If you have trouble confirming a contractor's license or registration, it's a warning sign. In a similar way, you'll want to check with local organizations to ensure you're dealing with a trustworthy reputable company. For instance, Sunwood is a member of both the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Central Connecticut and the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut.
How long has the builder been in business? This is important because it usually takes three to five years to establish a financially-successful and stable company. Too many homeowners have been hurt by accidentally getting involved with a business that, while it looked good on the surface, turned out to be a “fly by night” operation. Then, the company was not around in the long run to service any warranties, even if they did manage to finish the job.
If you’re undertaking a significant project, you want a contractor who has been around the block or two—not someone who is learning on the job. Experience, however, isn’t just about how long someone has been in the remodeling business. You want to find someone who has numerous projects like yours under his or her belt—and can show you the results. The other thing that experience brings is the ability to come up with creative solutions to your remodeling issues and questions. Remodelers with experience know that there’s more than one way to solve a problem.
Does the builder carry insurance? This will protect you from claims which could result from any property damage or injuries on the job site. If you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the company to see a copy of its insurance certificates. A reputable company will be happy to comply with your request and readily provide the information. After all, you’ll be spending money on the building or remodeling project. Make sure it’s money well spent.
Satisfied Customers From Building and Remodeling
A good, solid, reliable home builder or remodeler will not only have an established presence in your area, but will also provide you with a list of satisfied customers they’ve worked with on projects in the past—including contact information for the homeowners. Don’t be afraid to ask for that list and make sure there are some current projects on the list too. It’s also important to actually follow up with one or two to find out about the experience. A contractor who won’t furnish references is hiding something.
When you interview a home builder or remodeler, you shouldn't be the only one asking questions. You want a contractor who is looking to provide a solution that fits your needs. If the home builder or remodeler you're considering doesn't ask you questions—or if you get the feeling that he or she is simply not listening to your questions or concerns—walk away. You want to choose someone who is going to help create your dream house—not simply complete a task.
If you get two or three bids on your remodeling project, it's pretty obvious when someone is out of line. And while no one wants to pay too much for a project, there's also a significant risk in taking a bid that's too low. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.