Renovation Resource: How do I select a contractor?

CIMG28891. Get referrals: The best way to find a contractor is usually by referral. Ask friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, your real estate agent, and lender. If that doesn’t yield enough names, check Houzz, Angie’s List, and Yelp.

2. Start calling: Call several until you are able to secure a few appointments. Don’t panic if they don’t call you back immediately. Contractors are on their feet or in the car most of their days – so sometimes can’t easily return calls the same day.

3. Have a plan: The key to getting comparable clear estimates is to have a plan for what you want to do. Type it up and print it out to share with each contractor. Or use my renovation consultant services to help you figure out what you want and to put together a plan for you!

4. Questions to ask: Make a list of the questions you want to be sure to ask each contractor. Some topics important to include: approximate start and end dates, architect/permit requirements, licensing, insurance, lead certification, communication style, and how overages are handled.

5. Price isn’t everything: Be wary of bids that are much higher or lower than others. Check these to be sure something extra isn’t being added or something important forgotten. If a reason is not clear, you could risk paying too much or selecting someone who doesn’t do a great job.

6. Pick someone you can work with: Most projects are tense, emotional, and have some problems. Pick someone with whom you can go through these ups and downs.

Need help, hire a renovation consultant! Contact me today! jennifer.macomber@gmail.com | 202-905-5369.

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