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There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when replacing or remodeling becomes a must, whether it’s by design or by necessity. You may need to replace just the furnace or want to remodel the entire house. Either way, the most important step in any repair or remodeling job is finding a reputable contractor and/or subcontractors with experience to do the job right.
Homeowners have several resources to find a contractor, including online service referral sites like Angie’s List and Yelp. But don’t stop there. Like finding and financing your next car, you need to consider the issue from all angles. Here are some important suggestions for making sure you get the right company for the job.
Ask for References
Ask everyone for references. Your neighbors make great resources because their lots, floor plans, and age of their homes are probably pretty close to your own. Since builders tend to use the same subcontractors, your original HVAC and plumbing systems are all generally the same, too. Co-workers, friends, and relatives are additional sources for references.
Check Them Out
Double-check licenses and look up contractors on HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List websites for any complaints. Check into their standing with trade associations. Ask for proof of insurance, bonding, and how long they’ve been in business.
Do Some Homework
Unless you have an emergency, take the time to do some homework first. Visit model homes, take pictures, make sketches, print web pages, or tear out magazine pages that show the look you want. For Plumbing & HVAC Wilmington Heating, HVAC and plumbing contractors, think specifically about things like radiant heating, central air conditioning and kitchen and bath redesigns that require upgraded plumbing.
When you interview contractors, pass along your sketches and images as examples they can use to base an estimate on. Discuss your project and materials you want to use so you’re comparing apples to apples when you review the bids. Get at least three bids for your project.
Sign the Contract
Make the contract very detailed, down to the size in square footage of the project. Describe the work to be done and include materials, labor costs, and warranties for both. Put a schedule into the contract if you can, along with contingencies for necessary delays.
Set Ground Rules
In most construction trades, and especially in summer months, contractors want to start at 6 a.m. or earlier. You have to live there, so you decide. What rooms will workers need to access, including a bathroom? Do you want them to vacuum or just pick up the big stuff at the end of the day? Do you want to choose a designated smoking area?
Stay in Contact
There are lots of things to consider in any remodeling job, no matter how big or small. If you do your homework, that’s half the job done right. Stay in constant contact with your contractor and you can head off a lot of the smaller issues before they get too big and become real problems. The job will go better and you’ll feel better, too.