How to Choose a Professional Remodeler:
If you own a home, no matter what the age, sooner or later you may join the millions of people who remodel their homes each year. The reasons for remodeling are as varied as the projects themselves. Remodeling adds comfort, convenience, space, and value to what is for most homeowners their most valuable asset.
If you are considering a remodeling project, choose a professional remodeler:
- Save you money by doing your job right the first time.
- Ensure that your dreams are accurately translated into reality by offering design services in-house or through an arrangement with a professional architect or designer.
- Understand that your comfort during the project and its successful completion depend on effective communication and follow-through.
- Maintain a safe and neat jobsite to prevent damage to your home or injury to household members and pets.
- Provide the best possible materials within your budget and assist you in making selections through the vendors they work with.
- Ensure that your job meets or exceeds applicable building codes and regulations.
- Guarantee the quality of his/her work with a warranty.
- Respond promptly to service calls and inquiries.
Seek Referrals From:
- Local trade associations, such as CBIA and local Remodelers Council.
- Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and others who have had remodeling work done.
- Independent trade contractors, building materials suppliers, architects, engineers, home inspectors, local lenders and insurance professionals.
Once you have Developed a List of Potential Contractors:
- Check with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) (239) 338-2373 and ask if any have had complaints filed. If so, were they resolved satisfactorily?
- Check with your state’s licensing agency and the state and local building inspectors to see if they have received complaints about the remodeler and to verify that the remodeler has the appropriate licenses and registrations.
Before You Sign A Contract:
- Ask the remodeler to share with you names, phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of some customers and take the time to see the remodeler’s work. Ask to see jobs similar to yours. Does the quality of the work meet your standards?
Ask the Remodeler’s Customers:
- Would you hire this company again?
- Did the remodeler maintain a neat jobsite, provide regular clean-up and haul away debris including personal trash?
- Did the remodeler keep labor and materials delays to a minimum so that your job could be started and completed on time and within budget?
- Did you find the remodeler easy to work with? Did the remodeler keep you informed as the job progressed?
- Did the remodeler supply you with paperwork in a timely fashion?
- How well did the remodeler deal with the problems that arose?
What to Look for & What to Ask:
Does the Remodeler:
- Maintain a permanent mailing address, e-mail address, published personal phone number, fax number, cell phone number?
- Carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or jobsite injuries? (Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.)
- Have an established presence in the community?
- Possess a trustworthy reputation among customers, peers, local officials and people involved in all aspects of the industry?
- Actively participate in a trade organization, such as CBIA and the Remodelers Council? Belonging to such an organization helps them to stay current about new products, techniques, business practices, etc.
- Has the remodeler earned any professional designations? For example, CGR (Certified Graduate Remodeler), CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist), GMB (Graduate Master Builder), CBD (Certified Bath Designer), CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer), CGP (Certified Green Building Professional).