So you finally made the big decision to do an addition or remodeling project. Now you may be wondering where to even begin. If you are going to hire a contractor to do the work then a lot of the work will fall on him or her. Things like permitting, getting sub-contractors to come in, purchasing materials, scheduling and inspections to name a few. Depending on the project you will still probably want to pick out the actual materials used such as flooring, paint color, light fixtures, sinks, toilets and or bathtubs and tile for example. It can feel a bit overwhelming if you have never done anything like this before. Even if you are a seasoned D.I.Y. kind of person, some jobs may need to be done by a professional. Know your own limits.
How To Find A Contractor
If you are going to use a general contractor then you may be wondering how do I find a qualified, honest and ethical professional. We have all heard horror stories on the news or from friends or family members of the project gone bad! Half completed jobs, projects that took much longer than the expectations that were discussed or shoddy workmanship. Then there is always the dreaded story of the MIA contractor that took off with the money and never actually showed up after the bidding process. So if you are not an active member of the construction industry or know a trusted individual who is, where do you find someone qualified to do the job correctly?
The first thought to come to mind might be to ask around. Word of mouth can be quite helpful and comes with some sense of trust. While this is a good idea, remember that not everyone has the same expectations. What might be just fine for one person may be totally unacceptable for the next. If you can see the completed work, that is by far the best way to decide if your friend or family members contractor might be a good fit for you.
You should inquire about how things went. Did they stay on budget and if not why? Did the contractor and his subs show up when they said they would or call to say why and to reschedule? Was the project completed in a timely manner and again if not why? Were there any issues that came up between the contractor and the homeowner that could not be worked through? At the end of the project were the homeowners happy and would they work with that contractor again? You can probably think of some other pertinent questions to ask but hopefully this gets your thought process moving in the right direction.
Background Checking The Contractor
You will definitely want to make sure any contractor you are considering is licensed. This may require a license specific to the city they are doing work in so you should check with your cities building department for their requirements. Check to make sure they have current and appropriate insurance including liability and workers comp. Are they a registered business with the secretary of state? Although not mandatory this may help you make sure you are not working with a contractor driving across the country working (or not working) from town to town. Ask them how long they have been in business and do they have a list of clients they can supply you with. Take the time to call a few people on that list and reference the same questions mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Checking Out Contractors On Social Media
Last but certainly not least in this day and age, check out social media. While not every contractor has a fancy website if they do you will certainly want to take a look at it. Check out Google and Yelp for public reviews. Getting reviews can be a difficult job for any company and they are not always 5 star glowing reviews. Do they seem legitimate? Did the owner respond to them? Are there years between reviews? Again this is not a priority for every good or even excellent contractor but it is an option that you can at least check out.
Is It All About Price
Eventually it will most likely come down to price. There can be a great variance in the quotes you receive. Compare them side by side. Do they all seem to include the same basic line items? Check to make sure there are not any large items missing that may add significantly to the budget. How are items that you want to pick out being handled? Contractors can get discounted prices on many items but you will want to know for example what type of sink or faucet they have budgeted for in the quote. If you think you are getting an elegant polished brass faucet and you end up with a builder grade chrome faucet you will probably not be very happy. Your contractor can not read your mind so it is up to you to communicate your idea of the finished project.
Ordering A Roll-Off Dumpster
Remember to order a roll-off container for removal of the waste created by your remodeling or addition project. This should be included in the budget. Some contractors will take care of ordering a dumpster for you and others will let you order one on your own. Regardless of who makes the phone call, you can definitely call or ask the contractor to call Total Disposal at 303-659-3333. We have a dumpster for every size of project and offer exceptional customer service at competitive prices. Visit our website at www.totaldisposalofdenver.com and be sure to check out our reviews.
While it is true that most projects or additions to your home have one or two hiccups along the way, if you do your homework and choose a qualified professional it will be worth it all in the end. You will have made a good investment whether it is for you or the next owner of your home. Just remember, nothing is perfect, and with good communication and reasonable expectations from everyone, there is no reason your project can not be a positive experience.