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Ask anyone who’s been through a home renovation and they’ll admit that it’s much more difficult than it seems. Remodeling and additions can look simple sketched out on paper, but the execution is a completely different story. Unexpected issues like weather conditions, shipping delays and structural problems can detour even the most well-thought-out plans, sending the project over budget.

Perhaps you’re thinking of moving a wall to create some extra bathroom space. Sounds relatively simple, but that can also involve moving the plumbing in the basement, adding new floor framing, re-routing electrical wires, removing and replacing trim and painting. Are you up to the task?

Many homeowners with basic skills experience unexpected problems, and a small problem can quickly grow into a huge one. The solution? Hire a professional home renovation company from the start.

Choosing the right home remodeling contractors to work with is a critical decision that can turn your dream home into a real nightmare. You can avoid some of the stress by doing due diligence up front and following these guidelines.

Tips for Hiring the Right General Contractor

1.      Make a detailed plan.
Before talking to a home renovation company, make a detailed plan of your project to provide to the potential general contractor with a work scope. Include anything you plan to do yourself, and what the home remodeling contractors are expected to complete.

2.      Get referrals.
As NJ home improvement contractor Ingalls Custom Contracting knows, the best companies have tons of loyal customers and partners ready to provide a referral. Ask your family, friends, neighbors, homebuilder’s associations, State Licensing Board, BBB, real estate agents or suppliers for names of good home remodeling contractors, then, make sure the general contractor has expertise in the type of work you want done.

3.      Set up interviews.
A face-to-face meeting with a professional at a home renovation company can be a good indicator of how they work and if there is a good rapport. Take the time to test the general contractor’s knowledge about permits, and meeting budgets and schedules.  Schedule the meeting at the general contractor’s office.

4.      Get a written quote.
Invite one potential general contractor at a time to visit your home to survey the project. Give them a detailed list about your project, have a conversation about it, and discuss when you can expect to receive an estimate for the work. The quote should include the scope of work, cost, schedule and payment timelines.

Home remodeling and renovations take time; you will want to be sure to choose someone who understands that the relationship is special.  If you are still considering doing the project yourself, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much personal experience do I have to be competent in the construction process?
  • Do I have the ability to recognize and stop potential problem areas as they occur?
  • Can I devote 3 to 4 months of “daytime” supervision that is required on the job? Will my own job suffer?
  • What is my personal knowledge of the Residential Building Code?

If you struggle with any of these questions, it’s probably best to hire a professional home renovation company.  Chances are you will end up saving money in the long run!