Choose someone who is competent, reliable, and trustworthy.
Once you’ve decided to remodel your home, the next step is to decide who is going to do all that work. It’s important to choose someone who is competent, reliable, and trustworthy. To help you navigate the process of choosing a remodeler, we’ve created these Five Rules for Interviewing a Remodeler.
1. An Interview Isn’t an Interrogation
Communication goes both ways. The answers your remodeler gives are important, but it’s just as important for them to ask you questions. A good contractor will want to understand your overall project goals and what’s important to you. At the end of your interview, you should feel comfortable communicating about expectations, budget, timeline, and design.
2.But what about the subs?
A good contractor will have strong and stable relationships with specialty contractors such as electricians and plumbers. Here are a few questions you can ask a remodeler about their subcontractors:
- How long have you worked together?
- How do you select your subcontractors?
- What work on my project will be done by subcontractors?
Great subs will help keep your project on track.
3. Ask for references – and make sure to follow-up.
Don’t be fooled by personality, goodlooks, or beautiful photography. Ask to talk to former clients. Call them and ask:
- Was the remodeler’s bid accurate?
- Was the work was completed on time?
- Were you satisfied with the quality of communication between you and the remodeler?
- If you were doing it all over, would you choose the same remodeler?
For extra peace of mind, check with the Minnesota Better Business Bureau to see if there is a history of disputes or complaints. Call the MN Department of Commerce and confirm that the remodeler is licensed by the state. A remodeler’s license number should appear on all their printed and online materials. New Spaces’ license number is #BC001586.
4. Request a list of completed projects
Make sure the remodeler has a diverse portfolio which includes at least two projects that are similar to yours. If you chose to schedule a walk-through of a completed remodel, remember that new jobs always look good. Ask to see projects that are a few years older and you’ll get a good idea of how a remodeler’s work stands up over time.
5. Take the time
Even though it may be a headache to schedule all the meetings, make all the phone calls, and follow-up on all the information from your remodeler interviews – do take the time to do it. This rule may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is many homeowners spend more time choosing a car than they do choosing a remodeling contractor. Remember, this is your home and you are the one who will be enjoying it (or repairing it) for years to come. A thorough interview process is the best way to protect yourself and ensure that you will love your new space for a long time.
Remodeling your home can be fun. You’ll learn a little about design and construction, and when it’s all over your home will feel even more like it’s yours. Follow these five rules, keep your wits about you, and before too long you’ll be waiting for work to start on your very own remodeling project.