We all have that one big home improvement project we’d just love to tackle—the spa-like master bath, the glossy gourmet kitchen, the spacious walk-in closet… You know the one. Typically, these are projects a little too large to be taken on alone, which means you have to call in a contractor. But how exactly do you find the builder or team who’s going to ensure you get exactly what you want?
How to Choose a Contractor & Secure Your Home Project
One of the reasons a lot of people hesitate to pull the trigger on home improvements (aside from price) is that the process just seems too complicated. How do you find the right contractor? How do you know their vision matches yours? How do you ensure everything you want is accomplished, and in a timely fashion? The list of concerns can get pretty long pretty quickly.
Here are five steps to ensuring home renovation success, no matter your project!
Visualize your dream… on paper
First things first: figure out what you want. If you don’t know what that looks like, there’s no way you’re going to be able to effectively communicate that to a contractor. You don’t need to know every detail, but having a concrete idea of what you’re looking for is immensely helpful.
Start with inspiration images. Pinterest and Houzz have great design boards. Gather up some images you like, and decide what you like about each. Keep a list of features or design elements you want to include.
Work with a company who offers 3D design
When shopping around for a contractor, there are a number of things you want to check before signing on with a company. Pricing, of course, is a major player. But so is experience. So are licensing and insurance. So are past client reviews. And so is this oft-overlooked element—3D design.
The advantage of working with a contractor who offers 3D design is that you are able to see your dream brought to life (well, almost) before any construction begins. It ensures that you and your builder are on the same page and allows you to spot any potential design flaws or hang-ups before any cutting, hammering, or demolishing takes place.
Some companies might even offer a credit for the 3D design if you work with them to complete the project.
Get the estimate in writing
Whenever you work with a company to make any changes to your home, get everything in writing. Always. That way there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings, and you know what to expect, every step along the way.
You also want to know the procedure if any issues arise. It happens—something unexpected comes up that changes the design or workflow of the project. A good contractor will have a plan in place for when they do. Before you sign anything, find out what your contractor’s policy is for handling changes to cost or the scope of the project.
Judge the contractor’s responsiveness during the estimate process
You can tell a lot about a contractor’s communication and dedication to client service by the way they handle the estimate process. Do they arrive promptly? Are they receptive to phone calls or emails? How quickly do they get back to you with the estimate? A contractor who waits two weeks to return a call might be too busy for your business.
A contractor with office personnel to answer emails and phone calls and handle day-to-day operations, however, is likely able to provide a more convenient, informative, and client-focused experience. Their larger overhead might also mean paying a little more for their services, but remember: you get what you pay for!
Check your contractor’s insurance coverage
If a company is working in your home, and especially if they’re making significant or structural changes, they should be insured. In the event that something in your home is damaged or there is an accident, you want to be sure it’s covered.
Insurance also helps to establish a higher, more professional standard of business. Insured companies may have higher rates to compensate for the increased cost, but it’s definitely worth the piece of mind.
Always Ask Questions & Shop Around!
Are you planning a home renovation or improvement project? We’d love to help! Contact Raleigh Woodworks today to find out more about our experience, our services, and how we go above and beyond for each of our clients. We look forward to chatting about your dream project!