So you’re thinking of remodeling your home or adding an addition, but are wondering what the proper protocol to finding a contractor is? Let us help! Here are 9 simple steps that can ensure the process will be thorough and successful.
1. Check with your friends.
Have any of your friends or acquaintances hired someone recently to do the same job, or something similar, you’re wishing to have done? Ask around. See whom they used and what they thought of them as a person, their work ethic, the materials they used and the quality of the work. It’s also always better to get multiple opinions, so once you have found a reliable source you know, ask where they got their source and if he or she was reliable? Word of mouth is generally a successful way of detecting not only quality, but a genuinely solid contractor all around.
2. A LEED AP is preferable.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Green building is a popular growing trend and can only help your home while helping the environment, making it important that your contractor have this accreditation.
3. Start contacting them.
Once you have done your research and feel confident in choosing two or three contractors to approach about your project, start requesting bids. Simply give them a call and let them know exactly what you’re looking to do. Make sure you describe the job in the exact same way to each contractor, so that your not getting drastically different results in pricing from comparing two completely different projects. You’ll also want to ask for a list of references from the contractor, preferably some of the contractor’s past customers who have had the same addition or re-modeling project completed in their home.
4. Call the references.
Call the references each contractor has provided. See how satisfied they were with the job done on their home. Ask about the quality of the work, the materials used, the integrity of the contractor and how well the company followed up after the job was completed.
5. Select a bid.
Examine all proposals carefully. The best bid is not always the lowest. Make sure to understand each contractor’s process, as well as considering materials used and labor hours needed. You’ll also want to re-consider your personal source as well as the references responses given by the contractor during this step.
6. The contractor needs a license.
Verify that the contractor you have chosen has a license. Take a look at their certifications and industry affiliations. Make sure they are involved and keeping up with the current industry trends. Some vital examples from T.W.Ellis LLC are:
- -Certified Master Remodeler
- - Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) Certification from the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers
- - Certified Aging-in-place Specialist (CAPS) Certification from The National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers
- - NAHB Green Building Verifier
- - Certified Green Professional (CGP) Certification from the NAHB Green Building Subcommittee of Construction, Code and Standards Committee
- - Certified Building Analyst Professional (CBA) and Envelope Professional (CEP) from the Building Performance Institute
- - ICC Certified Residential Building Inspector
- - LEED Accredited Professional
- - Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) Certificate/Accreditation from the American Society of Professional estimators
- - American Society of Professional Estimators member
- - Home Builders Association of Maryland member
- - Remodeling Council Board Member
7. Read the contract carefully.
Make sure that the contractor has liability insurance and that his employees are covered by workman’s compensation. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand, and don’t be shy about asking for changes to the contract. After all, you are the customer.
8. Building Permits.
Make sure the contractor you picked has the correct building permits. If he/she will be digging, make sure he/she checks underground utilities.
9. Time to pay up.
Once you are satisfied with the contract, sign it and give the contractor his deposit by check. If you decide to pay with cash, make sure you obtain a reciept.
You’re now ready to begin the exciting part of watching your home improvement project unfold before your eyes. For more information on a reliable contractor with many certifications, accredidations, affiliations and extensive home improvement experience in deck, outdoor kitchen, screened-in porch and commercial building visit www.twellis.com!