The best way to determine your contractor’s skillset is by asking to see a portfolio, visit completed project sites, and talk to prior clients.
by David E. Benner
For most people, the decision to start a remodeling project requires hiring a remodeling contractor to perform the work. Choosing the best contractor for your project will ensure a job well-done. Hiring the wrong contractor, however, increases the risk of complication–complication that can prove costly. Selecting a contractor may seem straight-forward, but if you aren’t interviewing with the 3 following factors in mind, you may end up paying for risk.
FACTOR 1 – DON’T COMPARE APPLES TO ORANGES
Most people apply the “three bid” process when choosing a contractor. This places the focus solely on price, with the faulty assumption that everyone is building the same product. When you use a price-driven comparison method – invariably, you wind up comparing apples to oranges! This does not mean that you should open your wallet to an endless payout. The homeowner should always control the budget. But first, focus on hiring a qualified remodeler.
FACTOR 2 – COMMUNICATION IS KEY
One cruical component to obtaining an accurate bid is the contractor’s ability to communicate effectively. Is it clear that the contractor understands your needs? Can he provide a comprehensive project outline based on your budget? Can he provide referrals from past clients? Good communication skills will ensure that the job runs smoothly, on-time and within budget.
FACTOR 3 – PERFORMANCE
There are a lot of people that can do the work, but how many can do it well? Remodeling projects, unlike new homes, require the contractor to meld the old building with the new product. A successful outcome relies on the contractor’s ability to plan and implement in a way that makes the transitions between the new and old structures seamless. The best way to determine your contractor’s skillset is by asking to see a portfolio, visit completed project sites, and talk to prior clients.
Quality, communication and performance are all make-or-break issues for the success of a project, and should all be weighed equally against price. Price alone should not drive your decision. In this industry, more than any other, you get what you pay for.