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Finding the Right Contractor For Your Project

Whether you wish to transform your house for your own enjoyment, or fetch a better price at resale, finding a remodeling contractor is likely on the top of your homeowner’s to-do list. Home renovation can be both costly and time consuming, so it pays to do your research when hiring a home improvement professional.

The word “remodeling” is often used interchangeably with “renovating,” but the former usually involves some sort of structural change to your home, such as constructing or taking down walls. Your DIY skills might be fine for smaller household projects, but here are some services that you’ll likely want to leave in the very able hands of the pros:

Remodeling a Kitchen or Bathroom Kitchen and bathroom remodels regularly make the wish lists of many homeowners, and they’re also a hit with home buyers. As these rooms involve intricate plumbing and electrical work as well as installing major appliances, it’s best to hire a remodeling team to do the work.

Constructing a New Room or Floor Many homeowners love their current space, but they want more of it. With an increase in multigenerational households as well as more people working and studying from home, building an additional room or an entire floor becomes a necessity. A general contractor and a team of subcontractors can easily take on this project, which can take weeks or even months depending on the design and the size of the space.

Finishing a Basement A finished basement allows for additional living space for members of the household or perhaps even an income-generating basement apartment, provided the work is done up to code. Either way, the lowest level of a home need not remain a dank, dark dungeon relegated only for storage and laundry.

Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Accessory dwelling units (ADU) are one way to add additional space to a home, such as an apartment over the garage or an in-law suite/guest house in the backyard. Like with a basement apartment conversion, this is an extensive construction process that must be in compliance with all local building codes, or it could land a homeowner in a heap of trouble. Good news: There are plenty of home remodelers who have plenty of experience adding ADUs to homes and they’d be more than willing to navigate the permit process for you.

Exterior Remodel Curb appeal is more than just a tidy lawn and garden. A well-maintained exterior also contributes to your property’s great first impression, and it protects the interior of your home as well. While a roof replacement might seem like an expensive and extensive undertaking, it could pay off handsomely at resale. According to Remodeling’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing the asphalt shingles on your roof could recoup more than 60% at resale, while replacing the bottom third of your home’s front-facing siding with manufactured stone veneer could see 92.1% return on investment. Exterior work involves heavy tools and high ladders, so unless you are an advanced DIYer, it’s best to leave this work up to the pros. Many remodeling contractors work on referral, so ask any family members or friends who recently had work done on their homes to make some recommendations. If there’s a home in your neighborhood under renovation and you like what you see, there’s likely a lawn sign with the name and contact information of the contractor doing the work. Of course, you could also do a search online and peruse contractor reviews by satisfied (or unsatisfied) clients. Just as you would with any home improvement professional, get at least a few quotes before you hire.

When to Hire a Remodeling Contractor You should hire a remodeling contractor whenever the scope of the work exceeds both your tool box and your abilities. If you’re not comfortable knocking down walls, for example, it’s time to hire a contractor. It’s also important to remember that home remodeling usually requires getting one or more permits. An experienced remodeling contractor will be able to more easily navigate the permit process so that everything can be done safely and in compliance with the local building code.DIY vs. Hiring a Remodeling Contractor Do-it-yourself (DIY) renovations are a big trend for homeowners, but it will likely take you longer to complete the project than an experienced professional. If you make mistakes, it could cost even more money to hire a pro to fix it than it would have been if you had hired one from the start.

Questions to Ask a Remodeling Contractors The type of remodeling project will dictate more precise questions to ask a potential remodeler, but here are some general questions to ask a home improvement professional:

  • Are you insured?

  • What is the payment schedule?

  • What is the timeline for this project?

  • Do you have references?

  • Will you be handling the permit process?

  • What is your preferred method of communication?


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