Five Tips For Hiring A Remodeling Contractor

Posted on | January 8, 2013 | No Comments

The start of a new year often inspires thoughts of renovation for homeowners. A great remodel can make a home infinitely more beautiful and functional – but as Raleigh interior designer, Loretta Bell, of Bell & Associates Interior Design, Ltd. tells us – the success of a renovation depends a great deal on the contractor you hire. Loretta generously offered us some tips on how to choose the right person for the job.

Images Courtesy of Bell & Associates Interior Design, Ltd. ©

Do a thorough vetting
Loretta suggests researching your contractor’s credentials, skills and experience carefully. “First and foremost, make sure the person you choose is licensed and insured, and find out how many years they have been in business.” she advises. “Your contractor should have a good working relationship with local designers, so referrals are a must. And you should ask them to show you previous projects so you can see their work.”

Choose a specialist
“Your contractor should specialize in remodeling, as opposed to new builds.” Loretta notes. “Experienced remodelers are familiar with the process, and can handle any ‘surprises’ that come along. You should also choose someone who specializes in home renovations—preferably in implementing the type of design you plan to do.”

Insist on transparency
Payment and work expectations should be well understood from the beginning. “Find out the contractor’s payment schedule, and determine whether it’s reasonable,” Loretta suggests. “Aside from the deposit, which is industry standard, never pay up front for work that has not been done.”

Contracts, contracts, contracts
Loretta advises to never sign a contract unless you know what’s in it – and can get out of it if need be. “Get a sample of your potential contractor’s contract and have an attorney review it,” she suggests. “One of the most important things is to make sure the contract has an exit clause. You never want to be bound by somebody who isn’t getting the job done, refuses to do what you want them to do or wants to do everything their way. Have your attorney ensure that the exit clause is properly written.”

Find a good fit for you
“Your contractor should be willing to cooperate and collaborate – with the designer and with you,” Loretta notes. “Choose someone you feel good about working with, and who really understands your wants and needs. A remodel is a big investment and a really long process. It takes great teamwork to create a really amazing result.”

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