When starting a home remodeling project, the first and most important step is finding the right professional contractor for the job. It is crucial to hire a professional who is well versed with building codes in your area. If you later decide to make updates to this remodel and the work was not completed according to code, such updates can be extremely expensive.
Selecting a qualified remodeling contractor doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Following a few simple guidelines will assist you in your choice and allow you to make an informed decision that best suits your needs:
1. Employ a contractor with an established business in your area. Local firms can be checked through references from past customers in your community. New Jersey requires contractors to be both licensed and insured. Just to be sure, ask to see a copy of the contractor’s certification of insurance for the name of his or her insurance agency to verify coverage.
2. Check with the government Consumer Affair Office and the local Better Business Bureau to ensure there is no adverse file on record for that contractor.
3. If you solicit bids from several different contractors, be sure they are bidding on the same scope and quality of work. Discuss variations in bids and beware of any bid that is much lower than the others. Make your final decision based on value and quality, not just price.
4. Be sure the potential contract includes the contractor’s name, address, and phone number. A contract should also include detail about what the contractor will and will not do. Make sure financial terms are understood and spelled out.
5. Consider the project and make sure all items you’ve requested are included. If you do not see a specific item in the contract, consider it not included. Never sign an incomplete contract. Always keep a copy of the final document for your records.
6. Distinguish between the “General Contractor” and the “Design/Build Contractor”. Many home improvements may not require design services and can be handled by an experienced remodeling contractor. Design/Build is a concept developed to benefit the homeowner with his or her remodeling project by providing both quality design and construction services within the same company. A design/build contractor will be able to see your project through from start to finish, keeping, design, budget and engineering in mind.
Town Bank Builders of North Cape May is an example of a both a general contractor and a “Design/Build” style contractor. They are willing and able to assist homeowners in each and every step of the remodeling process, from the initial vision to completion. As a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Town Bank Builders has access to the latest information and techniques in the industry through online publications, educational programs and seminars, and conferences. NARI, the only independent association dedicated to the remodeling industry, is a not-for-profit trade association with more than 50 years of experience. The NARI professional remodeler pledges to uphold the association’s strict Code of Ethics and is dedicated to advocate professionalism and integrity.
For more professional advice on the contractor selection process, call Town Bank Builders at (609) 884-5151.