Choosing the Right Home Remodeler
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Whether you’re ready to install new flooring in your living room, update the kitchen, or wanting an updated bathroom, or complete home remodeling, hiring the right design/remodeling company is the way to go. Choosing the right design remodeler can be a difficult decision. How can you tell if someone is good at what they do and can get the job done? When you are choosing a design remodeler to put your vision to life, you are hiring a new employee for the job. You would not hire the first applicant that you meet, so don’t choose your design remodeler without making sure you are screening the best candidates. Take a look at their portfolios of previous work, make sure that they are licensed, check their referrals, and collect 3 competitive bids, and ensure you are comparing apples to apples before you make a decision.
# 1: Gather Recommendations
The first step in selecting the right design remodeler is to make a list of various local contractors that have expertise in the project you are wanting to complete. Narrow down the list to your top choices and then use it to select the right design remodeler. If your remodeling project requires multiple trades, it is best to contract with a general contractor who has a design background.
Here are different ways you can compile your list:
Ask your friends who are homeowners for recommendations, especially the ones who have had renovations completed.
Browse online for the type of service in your local community and surrounding areas.
Read online reviews not only for positive ones but also how a remodeler responded
Ask friends or followers on social media for their recommendations
Successful and reliable design remodelers will not be difficult to get in touch with and will have no issues with providing examples of their work. Be wary of contractors that lack basic information such as reviews, social media presence, and a website containing all the necessary credentials.
#2: Compare Portfolios of Different Remodelers
When choosing a design that specializes in the type of renovation that you need, it is imperative that you are hiring someone that is experienced. For example, if you need to have a bathroom remodeled in your home, you’ll need a contractor who does well at that type of work.
It is important to ask each design remodeler that you are screening to provide their portfolio of previous projects within the last year or so. They may direct you to their website or have a physical portfolio. A good design remodeler should show at least a handful of their most recent projects, including before and after photos. It is also helpful if they have plans of previous work so that you can have an understanding of how they approach their work.
Watch out for portfolios with no before photos, too few projects, or no clear after photos. If their completed project is not up to your standards, there is a high probability that their average work is worse than their portfolio. You should remove that candidate off of your list.
#3: Inquire of Their Licensing and Certification
By this point, your list should have several names. A simple way of narrowing down your list is to ask for their certification and licensing. The licenses they should carry is dependent on the project. Legal requirements vary by state, so be sure to call the licensing body in your community to verify specific requirements. All licensing boards require that design remodelers be bonded and insured.
Be sure to also make sure that the design remodeler on your list have liability insurances in the event that they damage your home. The design remodeler and tradesmen should be covered by worker’s compensation. Ask for a copy of their insurance policies and check to make sure that they are up to date.
Remove remodelers from your list that do not have the correct licenses or certifications. It is also recommended to take any contractors off of your list that are hesitant or take too long in providing this information. Hiring a design remodeler that is not properly credentialed to cut corners or save money can very easily become a homeowner’s nightmare.
#4: Check References
Now that you’ve slimmed down your list to the top contenders, it is time to check their references. Any trusted and reputable remodeler will expect you to ask for a list of their references, as this is a common practice. Call each reference and make detailed notes on each call.
Some questions you may ask are:
Did they provide you with design services? If not, why?
Do they have access to designer/remodeler showrooms that you can visit?
Did the design remodeler stick to their schedule?
Was the job site kept tidy?
Were problems addressed in a prompt manner?
Were they punctual for their workdays and appointments? If late, did they alert you?
Were they prompt in returning your calls?
Did they keep you updated on progress or any issues?
Red flags include having large time gaps or having too few references. Simply inquire about these before assuming the worst. Holes in the calendar might not necessarily be a bad thing, as they may have taken time off. If a previous client had a positive experience overall, they’ll recommend the contractor, even if there were some minor issues. If the previous client had a bad experience, they may answer indirectly or be hesitant to provide information. Cross off any contractors that have bad reviews.
#5 Get Bids and Hire a Design Remodeler
The next step in your process of choosing the right design remodeler is to price the job. Each remodeler will provide you with an estimate and proposal, called a bid. This may include details of the timeline for the project, recommended materials, and the total cost. It is important to remember that it is not always best to go with the lowest priced bid. Materials and the amount of work can differ from remodeler to remodeler. Consider your overall goals for the project and select the proposal that is best for you. After selecting your design remodeler and accepting their bid, they will put together a contract which will provide you with more details about how they will complete the project, materials, cost, timeline, etc. After reviewing and signing the contract, your project will begin.
The bottom line is that it is up to you to do your homework to find both an ethical and skilled design remodeler for your home renovation. Whether you are looking to remodel your master bathroom, update the flooring in your home or add beautiful custom cabinetry and update your kitchen, Project Build Construction & Interiors makes the process easy! We are Orange County’s preferred design/build professionals. With an award-winning team and expert tradesmen on staff, we would love to help make your vision a stunning reality!