Don’t Be Misled by Misconceptions About Home Remodeling
There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about home remodeling and indeed about contractors.
Before you embark on your remodeling project, do your homework and get the facts.
Isn’t Home Remodeling Always a Nightmare?
We’ve all heard the horror stories from friends about long remodeling projects that caused major inconvenience. It seems to be a common belief that this happens every time. Yes, there is some inconvenience with home remodeling, but a good and experienced contractor will do everything to minimize it rather than drawing the project out. Choose wisely.
Choosing the Right Contractor
You can’t tell how good a contractor is simply by the number of years he has been in business. You need to make sure that you’re dealing with a qualified professional.
A contractor of quality will be proud of his workmanship and will gladly provide you with a list of projects he has completed. Call his previous clients to get testimonials and check that he completed projects on time and within budget.
If possible, visit some of these clients to see the quality of work first-hand. Although it is true that registered contractors must adhere to building codes, this is no guarantee of the quality of their work.
Prices and Quotes
You often hear that it is best to get quotes from three contractors. This is fine, as long as you ensure that each contractor has quoted on an equal footing. They should all work from the same plans and have a detailed list of materials and finishes to use when preparing their quotations.
Check out each contractor’s track record. Don’t go on price alone. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” still holds very true.
Buying Materials Yourself
It is a common misconception that you will save money by buying your own materials. You could well end up paying more instead of less.
Many professional contractors do not make hefty profits by inflating the price of materials. They may very well make some profit, but that is because they are able to negotiate bulk discounts from suppliers. The price that they charge you may be similar to what you would pay when buying materials yourself.
Also, good contractors will have an efficient system for ordering and delivering materials to a site, which can save you much hassle and time.
Contractors State License Board
It is not a bad idea to check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure a company has a valid state license, has Workers’ Compensation Insurance and there aren’t any complaints lodged against it. Just remember, however, that the absence of complaints does not necessarily mean they do a good job. This should be a starting point, rather than the single benchmark.
You need to do further investigation into a company.
“Of Course We Have Contractor’s Insurance…”
Registered contractors are required to carry:
- Worker’s Compensation insurance, which covers personal injuries on site
- Contractor’s Liability insurance, which covers damage to your property by the contractor.
Beware the contractors who say they are fully insured when, in fact, they might not have Worker’s Compensation insurance. They justify this by saying that all other personnel on site are sub-contractors and so technically they have no employees. In this situation you are dangerously exposed and could be liable for any personal injuries to anyone working on your home.
You have every right to ask a contractor for policy details and certification.
Appointing a Reputable Contractor
A big misconception is how DIY shows on TV make projects look so easy. But reputable remodeling contractors are invaluable:
- They will involve you in every step of the process, from design through construction.
- They are up to date with the latest remodeling trends and can advise you on aspects that will increase the value of your home.
- They bring their knowledge of pricing and timelines to the table.
- It is in their interest to complete the project on time and within budget because your testimonial is all important to their reputation.
“Romney Tripp started construction in 1977 and formed RWT Design & Construction in 1992, eventually setting up the shop in Burbank. From the mid 1980’s Romney has been working on building recording studios as well as…” Read more.
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