If you are about to begin a difficult remodeling job, one thing is for sure; you will be hiring a remodeling firm or home improvement contractor. But before you go out and hire the first remodeler you talk to, do some research. Interview several different firms and see who makes the most sense for you.
This can often be intimidating. After all, what should you ask when interviewing a remodeler? This article from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) can help. It outlines several questions you should ask any remodeling firm before hiring them.
These questions include:
How long have you been in business? Look for a company with an established business history in your community. Surviving in any business in today’s competitive marketplace is a difficult task. Most successful contractors are proud of their history in the industry.
What is the time frame for starting the project? Now is the time to ask questions about work schedules. You should ask: What is your estimate for completion? How early will your crew normally begin work? When will they normally quit for the day? Will I be contacted about delays or changes in the schedule? By whom?
How do you operate? In other words, how is your firm organized? Do you have employees or do you hire subcontractors? If you do have employees, what are their job descriptions? Do you use a project supervisor or lead carpenter to oversee the project? Other firms will have additional positions. You should know what parts of your project will be handled by staff, and which will be contracted out to independent contractors.
Do you have design services available? If you are considering a large or involved project, you will need design services. If the contractor does not have design-build capabilities, you should consider hiring an architect. Depending on the size and scope of the project, you may need an architect or structural engineer.
Are any of your company’s employees certified? Trade certifications are good indicators of dedication, professionalism and knowledge of the industry. Remodelers are required to meet certain industry criteria to maintain their certifications. NARI offers six designations: Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS), Certified Remodeler Associate (CRA), Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler (CKBR), Green Certified Professional (GCP), Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC), and Certified Remodeling Carpenter (CRC).
How many projects like mine have you completed in the past 12 months? This will help you determine the contractor’s familiarity with your type of project. You should confirm that a good portion of those completed projects were similar to the type of project you are proposing.
Will we need a permit for this project? Most cities and towns require permits for building projects. Failure to obtain the necessary permits or to arrange obligatory inspections can be illegal. In some cases, if a project violates a zoning law or some other regulations, it may even have to be demolished if there is no way to comply with the law. A qualified remodeling contractor will be conscious of the permit process, and ensure that all permits have been obtained before initiating any work.
Click here for the full list of questions.
If you have any questions about this process or if you are looking for a remodeling firm/home improvement contractor, contact TW Ellis by calling 800-852-8335 or click here today!