Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

Today’s economic conditions are forcing many homeowners to repair or remodel their existing homes rather than buy a new home. Protecting or enhancing your home’s value is critical in today’s real estate market. Whether you’re trying to sell your home or are just trying to stop the downward trend in home values, choosing the right HVAC Contractor in Harlingen TX for your remodeling project is an important decision.

A home remodeling project is a stressful experience; you probably have a friend or relative who has suffered through a construction horror story. As a professional remodeling contractor in Springfield, MO, I have “cleaned-up” the nightmares created by other so-called professionals on more than one occasion. These days it seems like everyone with a pick-up truck and a hammer is my competition.

Examples of problems I hear about in my market area:

  • The contractor offered to do work at an attractive price, only to request additional money for work or materials that I thought were already included.
  • The contractor started the job, but stopped working or would only work a couple of hours a day, leaving my job unfinished and unusable.
  • The contractor’s work was sub-standard or the workmanship was of low quality and when I asked about a certain issue I only got excuses.

One extreme example I remedied in the Springfield, MO area involved a contractor removing part of a load-bearing wall. Within weeks, the homeowner could not open numerous bedroom doors. All of the contractor’s work was done without a building permit. Unfortunately, in this example the cost to repair the problem and satisfy the local building department almost doubled the original project’s cost.

These kinds of horror stories are all too common in the construction industry and are why choosing the right contractor for your project is so important. The following guidelines should help to ensure that your project runs smoothly and that you only spend your hard-earned money once.

Questions to ask before you even schedule an in-home estimate include: Is the contractor licensed? At a minimum the contractor should have a business or specialty trades license, he won’t be able to obtain a building permit without one. Does the contractor have insurance? Liability insurance protects your home in the event the contractor makes a mistake that he cannot rectify. Does the contractor have the experience and ability to actually do the work required? Experience is hard to verify over the phone, however the contractor must be able to communicate effectively about the nature of your particular project.

Inviting a contractor to look at your project requirements and requesting a written proposal are the next steps. Is the contractor courteous? Did he show up on time for the estimate, or at least call if he was delayed? Your time is valuable so don’t waste even more of it on a contractor who is not punctual. It usually indicates that he will repeat the same kind of behavior if given the actual job.

This first face-to-face meeting with a prospective contractor is your opportunity to assess how well you can communicate with him/her. Most full-service remodeling projects can take between two to six weeks or more to complete. Will you be able to work with this individual for an extended period of time? Are you both on the same page? One of the more difficult aspects about a project can be accurately providing the details a contractor needs to understand what it is you want the end result to look like. Communicating effectively in the beginning is critically important to achieving the desired result.

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