Good contractors . . . when you find one, you’ve got to hold on and never let go. Whether you’d like to update your existing home, or you are considering listing your home for sale, and making much needed updates to maximize your ROI (return on investment), you’re probably going to be enlisting the services of a contractor. Finding a good, reputable contractor out of the thousands out there may seem like a daunting task. However here are some suggestions on how to find the best person to help you update your home:
First, ask your coworkers, friends and family if they’ve used a contractor in the past. A second source of recommendations to consider is your neighbors. An easy way to crowd-source your neighbors’ recommendations is through the website www.nextdoor.com. This free website is a great resource for anything neighborhood-related, and members are very willing to share their experiences with contractors, good and bad. A third source of recommendations to consider is your local tile store, flooring store and hardware store. Chatting with the store manager or employees will often yield several names of reputable contractors in your area.
Checking these individuals out, once you’ve got a list of 3-4 names, is critical, to ensure they are reputable and legitimate. In Arizona, the Registrar of Contractors maintains a list of all registered, licensed contractors in a handy database available to the public: http://www.azroc.gov/forms/contractorsearch.html. This database contains an up-to-date record of the status of the contractor’s license, any complaints that have been filed against the contractor, the amount of bond they maintain, as well as how long they’ve maintained a license in this state.
The next step will be to contact the contractor and to interview them (by phone or email). Some questions to ask include: Do they take on projects of your size?
Can they give you a list of previous clients? How many other projects would they have going at the same time? How long have they worked with their subcontractors? Would they be personally supervising the project? The next step would be a face to face meeting, in which they can see the project you’ve got in mind, and so you can ascertain their personality and see if it’s a good fit. Follow up this in person meeting with phone calls to 2 or 3 of their references. Ask how their remodels went, and ask if you can see photos of the final product.
The final step is to collect bids (always ask for itemized bids in writing) as well as payment schedules. Typically, with larger remodeling projects, contractors require 10% at the time of signing the contract, with 3 payments of 25% evenly spaced throughout, and then the final 15% once the remodel has been completed. Then, it’s off to the races with a remodel that’s sure to increase the value of your home, or of your continued enjoyment of your home.
As always, we’d be happy to share with you who we have had success working with on home remodels, as well as to conduct a walk-through of your home to discuss what we recommend updating when getting your home ready for sale, or alternatively, where to spend your money in your new home, to increase ROI for selling your home in the future.