What makes a remodeling “dream team”?
Your home remodeling company should be familiar with the challenges of remodeling — especially in your local area — bringing a wealth of experience to the remodel, across a range of projects from kitchen and bath to custom exterior remodels. But most of all, the key to a successful remodel is trust — homeowners want to know that their team of seasoned experts not only knows the industry, but knows what the needs to be done to bring the homeowner’s vision to life.
What should you know before you sign? Here are five questions to ask potential home remodeling companies to determine who is the best fit for your project.
How long have you been working in the community?
Homeowners are looking for a company that does quality work, but that operates on a few different levels. Each remodeling project is unique, in project type, process and location. All of these factors should be taken into account when choosing a remodeling firm. A company that understands the unique challenges of construction with respect to climate, building codes and more, will be able to complete your project with an understanding that goes beyond the normal do-it-yourself or budget project.
Visiting sites like Home Advisor and Houzz will give you an idea of how long a remodeler has been in the community, what type of projects they have the most experience with, and the success of those projects from the perspective of the homeowner. As you narrow it down to a few favorites, continue your search with more specific questions.
Has your company completed a project similar to mine? Do you have a portfolio I can take a look at?
Along with the specific challenges of remodeling in your area, your ideal remodeler should have a wealth of experience with your particular project. Check out their website and see what kind of projects are their “bread and butter” — if a prospective company works mainly in kitchens, and you’re looking for a firm with expertise in whole house remodels, you’ll want to keep searching for a company whose portfolio greater aligns with your needs.
Houzz, Instagram and Facebook are a few good places to keep tabs on these projects, because they give a more complete picture, whereas a review only captures a single experience that may not entirely align with your project plans.
Are you insured/certified?
In the event of an injury or accident on the job, you’ll want to make sure that your remodeling company is insured — this way you, the homeowner and legal owner of the job site, won’t be held responsible.
You should request proof of the following documents as part of the screening process. By completing this step early, you’ll be able to find out not only if the firm is covered, but if it has ever been subject to legal disputes or complaints of safety/working conditions.
- General Contractor
- Business License
- Workers compensation
- General and professional liability
You’ll also want to ask if team members possess any relevant certifications, such as a Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) certificate for project designers, or Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC) designation for production team members.
How involved should I be in the day-to-day of the project?
In the project-planning process, homeowners must decide between a general contractor and a home remodeling company, but the true differentiator is in how involved you’d like to be in a project management role. If you pursue a project with a general contractor, you’ll be responsible for all project planning, communication and collaboration between subcontractors — this is an ideal option if you’d like to be involved in every detail of the project in a hands-on way.
If you prefer to be more “hands-off” and let the professionals take care of it, you may prefer a remodeling firm. An established firm will provide end-to-end service from design ideation and architectural blueprints to final construction. As the homeowner, you will be part of these decisions, but you’ll have the help of a knowledgeable remodeling team every step of the way.
Who will be working on the project day to day, and how will I communicate with them?
The key to a successful remodel is communication. Whether it’s a phone call or text messaging, establish a preferred method of communication with your remodeling team.
Whether you choose a general contractor or a home remodeling company, a home remodel requires the collaboration of designers, architects, production team members, project managers and homeowners.
Balancing it all can seem like a daunting task, but you can rest easy with an experienced team, because their success is based on a detailed process. Make sure you understand how the process will work for your project. You’ll also want to look out for signs of an undefined process, such as disorganization, lack of communication upfront, or customer reviews that include mention of significant changes to the budget or timeline.
When you find a company that is willing to answer all of your questions, keeps you involved on a daily basis and shares your excitement about your project…congratulations, you’ve found your home remodeling company!
Let’s chat about your dream home and explore the possibilities. Attend one of our upcoming seminars or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation with one of our remodeling experts.