Choosing a contractor for your remodeling job can be a daunting task. The cost of almost any remodel likely is going to reach into the thousands, and you want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. You don’t want a bargain-basement contractor, but you don’t want to pay more than you have to, either.
Friends and Family Plan
The first place you should start when looking for a remodeling contractor is with local friends and family. Have they had any work done recently? Were they satisfied with the job that was done? Even if the answer is no, that still conveys valuable information — at least you know who not to use. Today’s busy homeowners may not keep in touch with as many people as they used to, and this is where the neighborhood listserv becomes an invaluable tool. Through this forum, you can learn about work that was done in your neighborhood, even if you don’t know the homeowners. And if you’re on the listserv enough, you know who’s a whiner and who’s a nitpicker, so you can discount misleading information from them.
What Are Strangers Saying?
Your next step would be to check third-party review sites like Yelp and AngiesList. These can be valuable sources of information, but remember many of the people who take the time to post there do so because they are angry. Most of the other satisfied customers don’t take the time to post a review. That being said, if a company has 20 reviews saying that they show up late or not at all, there’s probably something to that, so these types of sites are worth checking out.
Once you’ve narrowed your pool using these two methods, you must check out the contractors yourself. Give them a call — don’t just fill out the form online, you want to know what kind of people they have answering the phones. Ask a couple of simple questions to see if the person knows the answers or is at least willing to go ask someone who does, and if all goes well, set up an appointment for someone from the company to come out and
give you an estimate on the work.
Get an Estimate
If, by this point in the process, you have three companies who have jumped through all of your hoops, you’re doing well. The decision might come down to the estimate. Estimates can be tedious to complete, especially on a big job. If you get an estimate with a lot of areas clumped together vs. an itemized, detailed estimate, that could be a red flag. Maybe the contractor is just too busy to painstakingly list all the particulars, but maybe not listing them is how he makes his money.
Likewise, if you have to call the contractor after a couple of weeks because you never received an estimate, it might be that he’s just not into you. Either the job is not one the company wants to do, or they are too busy to fit you into the schedule. Better to know now versus having them agree to do the job and then not show up for months, or — everyone’s nightmare — show up to tear everything apart and then not come back to put it back together.
Falk Construction Inc. of Ogden, Utah, provides prompt, free estimates on any building or remodeling work you may need done. Consider FCI when choosing a remodeling contractor — their honest, dependable work ethic has made for thousands of satisfied customers.