Q - Where do I find a reputable remodeling contractor? A - Before selecting a remodeling contractor, you should carefully plan your project from start to completion. If your project involves a room addition, determine exactly what your needs are, how the room is to be used, and how you want the completed job to look. It is a good idea to coordinate your color schemes and draw a simple floor plan using miniature tables and chairs to indicate the room arrangement. Be specific. Explain to the contractor what you want and approve any architectural plans that are involved in the remodeling job before the contractor begins work.
Now you are ready to select a Contractor. Comparing costs before you make a financial commitment toward any home improvement project is very important. Solicit at least three bids from prospective contractors, based on the same building specifications, materials, labor and time needed to completion.Q - How do I compare the different bids?A - Discuss bids in detail with each contractor bidding, making sure you understand the reasons for any variations in prices. Do not automatically choose the lowest price. One contractor's bid may be higher because the materials to be used may be better quality or because work requires more care.
Ask the contractor for local references and find out if the customers were truly satisfied with the contractor's work. Try to inspect the completed projects.
Find out if the contractor belongs to a professional association that has standards or a code of ethics for remodelers.
Call your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or consumer affairs office to determine how long the contractor has been in business and if any complaints have been filed against the firm.
Another important matter to consider before hiring a contractor is insurance, Ask the contractor if the company is insured against claims covering worker's compensation, property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents. Call to verify the contractor's insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency.
Finally, check with your state, county, or city housing authority to see if the contractor must meet certain licensing and/or bonding requirements in your area. If so, make sure your contractor is properly licensed and bonded. NEVER pay a contractor for the entire job in advance and avoid paying cash whenever possible.Q - I'm new to the area. How can I find Financing?A - To obtain financing for your home improvement project you may want to consider a personal or bank loan, a home equity loan, a lone from your credit union or insurance company, or a savings and loan institution. While your contractor may be able to help you secure the needed financing, it is important that you investigate various sources of funding and compare amounts, interest rates, terms and tax considerations. If you cannot pay for a home improvement project without a loan, it is wise to put a clause in your contract with the remodeler stating that the agreement is valid only if financing is obtained.Q - Do I need a building permit to remodel?
A - Building codes established by cities, towns and counties may vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another. Your contract should state that the work is to be performed in accordance with all applicable building codes and zoning regulations, in your area of residence or where the work is to be preformed.
Generally, a building permit is required whenever structural work is involved or when the basic living area of a home is changed. Separate permits for electrical, heating or plumbing work may be required. Check with your local bureau of licensing and permits before the job begins to find out if a building or work permit is required.
If your project requires a building permit, the contractor should apply for it in his/her name. Thus, if the work does not pass inspection, you cannot be held financially responsible for any necessary corrections. Terms about the application of any permits should be outlined in the written contract.
When a government agency issues a permit for home improvement work, it will inspect the work when it has reached a certain stage to assure compliance with codes and regulations. It is the contractor's responsibility to call for the inspection.Q - What about a Terms and Conditions in a Contract?A - All agreements and oral promises regarding the home improvement project should be put in writing to protect both you and the contractor. If you intend to do some of the work yourself or hire another contractor to do it, such terms should be outlined in the written contract.
-A thorough description of the work to be done, specifying all materials or brand names
-The agreed upon starting and completion dates and remedy for failure to meet
-A payment schedule
-Warranties and guarantees for work
-Method for debris and removal once the work is done
-Any additional information and material pertaining to how you want the contractor to perform and the type of work expected
In addition, make sure the written contract includes THE CONTRACTOR'S FULL NAME,
CORRECT ADDRESS, TELEPHONE, CELL AND WEBSITE
MOST IMPORTANT: PROFESSIONAL STATE ISSUED LICENSE CERTIFICATE.Read More...
Excellent customer service is all about “going the extra mile.” K&S lives this philosophy. They are prompt, polite and professional. I know this sounds cliché, but if you want it done right the first time, this is the guy to call. Plain and simple – he knows what he’s talking about and he’s ethical and forthright, too. So if you’re looking for a remodeling contractor who shows up at the scheduled time, does the job in a timely manner, and is very thorough, give K&S Remodeling a call. We’re certainly glad we did!