If you’ve been planning on remodeling a part of your home, you’ve got but two choices: Either remodel it yourself (if you have technical skills), or hire a contractor.
Remodeling your home can increase its overall value. For the best results, we recommend you hire a contractor. But how do you find the right contractor to help you realize the vision you have for your home? Follow the steps below:
1. Searching For The Contractor
The first step is to search for contractors in your area. Make a list of at least 10–15 contractors.
Ask for recommendations from friends and family who have already done house remodeling. They will probably know the best contractors available.
Also, check online for contractors who specialize in the remodeling you need. If you want to remodel your bathroom, do a Google search to find contractors in your area; for example, ‘bathroom remodel Albuquerque NM’.
If you identify a contractor who doesn’t have a website, this may be a red flag as most well-established contractors have websites where they showcase completed projects. If, however, the contractor doesn’t have a website but can share client references with you, it’s safe to consider them.
The best contractors to add to your list are those with contact details, an established portfolio to prove they’re experienced, and testimonials from their previous clients.
2. Narrow Down Your Search
Now that you have a shortlist, it’s time to identify the best contractor for your needs.
If you’re planning a major project, make sure your contractor is experienced in, for example, living area and kitchen remodeling, too.
Read third-party online reviews to see what other people’s experiences were with the contractor. If you notice multiple negative reviews, then it’s best to rule out that contractor and focus your efforts on the remaining ones.
Carefully study the shortlisted contractors’ portfolios to see if their completed projects fit your personal preferences. If, for example, you like a classical style, it’s best to stay away from contractors who have only done modern style remodeling projects.
The best contractors will have at least 10 previous projects to show. Note that a contractor will display their best projects, so if you find unimpressive ones, it’s most probably a reflection of their average work standard. If that’s the case, remove them from the shortlist.
3. Ask For Insurance, Licenses And Certifications
Licenses and certifications will tell you whether the contractor is qualified to work on your remodeling. All certifications or licenses will do. Thus, you must find out about the required certifications in your area and then see if the contractor has these.
Ask to see the contractor’s liability insurance policy. Insurance will cover damages if something goes wrong while they’re remodeling your home. Rule out any contractors who lack certificates and licenses for your area; and those who don’t have insurance.
4: Ask For Reference Contacts
A reliable remodeling contractor won’t hesitate to put you in contact with previous clients. If you ask a contractor about this and they refuse, make excuses, or take unreasonably long after making promises, it’s best not to work with them.
Normally, if a contractor is happy with you calling their previous clients, you can be sure they were satisfied with the contractor’s work. However, if you call them and they’re vague about their experiences, it’s best to keep your options open. Listen carefully to how they talk and try to read between the lines.
5: View The Reference Projects
Having called and talked to the references, ask them whether you may visit their premises to get a better idea of what to expect when you hire the contractor. Ask to see before and after pictures, and ask them if there were particularly challenging situations during their remodeling projects.
Look for signs of low-quality work, and if you find any, rule out the contractor.
6: Accept Bids
At this stage, you would ideally have one contractor remaining. If that’s the case, you’ll be comfortable hiring them as you’ve done your due diligence in making sure they’re the best for the project you have in mind.
However, if you have two or three strong candidates remaining, you can ask them to work out project plans and send you proposals. After evaluating each proposal, you can choose the best contractor. If you’re not sure which proposal is the best, ask a friend or family member who has experience in remodeling their living or work spaces to help you evaluate the options.
When evaluating a project proposal, pay attention to how long the project will take, which materials will be used and how much they’ll cost, and the overall labor costs. On a final note, you can ask the candidates whether they can work within a set budget. Choose the one who is most confident that they’ll work within the framework of the proposal they sent.
Choosing the best contractor to remodel your home in New Mexico is an important decision. The steps discussed in this article will guide you along the way.
Remember to ask for references, check that their previous projects match your style and needs, and that they have the necessary paperwork. Your eventual choice should help you realize the house of your dreams.