Home Improvement Dos and Don'ts

Finding a Professional Remodeler

Are you one of the millions of Americans considering a remodeling project this year? If you are, then you probably have at least a couple of questions on how to find the correct professional.

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When hiring a remodeler, you are buying a service and not a product. Quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project. There are some things you'll want to explore and questions you'll want to ask when interviewing a remodeler.

Business Experience and Management

Does the remodeler:

  • Maintain a permanent mailing address, E-mail address, personal phone number, fax number, cell phone and voicemail?
  • Carry insurance that protects you from liability? Ask for a copy of the remodeler's insurance certificates to be sure. Also, ask the remodeler how much the project will add to the home's value and attain additional insurance from your provider.
  • Have an established presence in the community? How long has the company been in business under this name? Does the remodeler maintain solid relationships with contractors such as plumbers and electricians and work with them as a team?
  • Possess a trustworthy reputation among customers and peers? Is there a track record of success?

Has the remodeler earned any professional designations, such as Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Certified Bath Designer (CBD), etc.? How long has the remodeler been a member or any trade organizations?

Construction and Technical Expertise

Does the remodeler:
  • Have a working knowledge of the types and ages of homes in the area? This helps in the area of reliable estimates. Extremely low bids should be viewed with scrutiny. What are the likely products and materials the remodeler will use? Does the remodeler offer an array of options and have knowledge of a variety of products, materials and techniques?
  • Specialize particular types of projects?
  • Arrange for the building permit?
  • Offer a warranty? What kind and how long? What is covered and what isn't?
  • Agree to begin and complete your job within a reasonable timetable?

Customer Service and Communication

Does the remodeler:
  • Respond promptly to your inquiries?
  • Schedule meetings and attend them on time?
  • Emphasize service and developing a trusting relationship?
  • Listen to and understand your needs and wants? When discussing your written priorities, does the remodeler show enthusiasm for your ideas?
  • Facilitate communication among all parties involved?

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