Successful Remodel or Renovation Projects

Print Successful Remodel
Provided by:
Roger & Sally Barton, owners, Badger Roofing, www.BadgerRoofing.net
Tom Reilly, architect and builder with Renovations  www.prescottrenovations.com 

Are you one of the many homeowners considering a remodeling project?  If you are, you may be wondering how to hire the right contractor for your job.  We want you to move ahead in confidence with your remodeling project knowing you will receive the value and quality craftsmanship from the professional you hire. 

These difficult economic times have caused us all to tighten our financial belts.  Homeowners should know that remodeling projects are a wise investment for the future.  It is also the time to hire a professional instead of undertaking the project in a Do-It-Yourself fashion. 

Roger Barton, owner of Badger Roofing states, “Fixing a do-it-yourself project that has gone wrong can be very costly.  It pays to get it right the first time, hire a licensed contractor to make sure the project is completed correctly, on schedule and on budget.”  

Tom Reilly, owner of Renovations adds, “Roger, I agree with you 100% and the market will never be better than it is right now.”  

Contractors are hired every day to salvage DIY projects that have gone wrong.  Homeowners can avoid the stress and expense of fixing a problem by hiring a licensed bonded and insured professional contractor at the beginning of a project.  

Keep in mind when you hire a contractor you are buying a service as well as a product.  The quality of the finished job will reflect the quality of service you receive.  

Working with a professional licensed contractor provides assurance that the professional you choose has accountability and will hold to a high standard of ethics and integrity and responsibility.  Here are some tips, ideas and suggestions that will help to guarantee your project gets off to a successful start, a productive process and a satisfying completion. 

What You Should Expect When You Hire A Contractor 

  • Saving you money by doing the job right the first time
  • An in-home consultation
  • Maintains a clean and safe job site
  • Meets or exceeds code requirements
  • Provides a warranty and warranty follow-up
  • Responds to service calls
  • Will obtain the appropriate building permits
  • Provides a reasonable timeline

 Where Do You Begin? 

  • Develop and idea of what you want
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Gather your ideas in an Idea Notebook
  • Consider if you should hire an architect or designer
  • The process of hiring a architect or designer is very similar to hiring a contractor
  • Permits require drawings
  • Architects deal with space and design
  • Know your budget
  • Talk with your lender about financing and payment plans
  • Consider how much the project will add to the home’s value vs. the cost of the job

 Select the Home Improvement Contractor that is right for you and your project

  • Interview your contractor
    • Is the contractor licensed, bonded and insured?
    • Ask for a copy of the contractor’s insurance certificates
    • Has the contractor participated in continuing education?
    • Have they earned any professional designations?
    • How long has the contractor been in business?
    • Does this contractor have a good working knowledge of the types and ages of homes in your area?
    • Will the contractor offer options for you to consider?
    • Can the contractor talk intelligently about products, materials and applications?
    • Does this contractor have good relationships with other trade contractors in the community?
      • Plumbers, roofers, electricians
  • What is the focus of the contractor’s work
    • Sustainable resources
    • Green building
  • Seek Referrals from:
    • Trade associations such as Yavapai County Contractors Association www.ycca.org
    • Acquaintances
    • Friends, family, neighbors and co-workers
    • Other trade contractors
  • Check credentials and verify their licenses and registrations
    • Arizona Registrar of Contractors www.azroc.gov
    • Staying in communication is vital.  Does the contractor have:
      •  a physical, permanent address?
      • Email address
      • Website
      • Cell phone number
      • Voice mail
  • Ask for references – Contact the references and ask:
    • Tell me about your experience with this contractor
    • Did this contractor communicate well with you?
    • Schedule meetings and attend them on time?
    • Were you listened to, did the contractor understand your wants and needs?
    • Did your project stay on schedule and on budget?
    • Was this contractor on the job as often you expected?
    • Did this contractor follow through as promised?
    • How did the contractor respond to unexpected problems?
    • Would you use this contractor again?
    • Would you recommend this contractor to a friend?
    • Ask to see completed jobs similar to yours 
  • Tips for Getting Off To A Successful Remodel or Renovation Project Start
    • Before signing the contract
      • Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the contractor and confident this company will do the job right according to the plans, budget and timeline.
      • Ask for a written estimate and agree to the payment schedule
      • Agree on a communication schedule  
  • Dos and Don’ts For Working With Your Contractor During The Project
    • Do not pay more than 10% down 
  • Finishing Strong
    • Collect all the lien wavers and releases
    • Warranty certificates
    • List of subcontractors who worked on the project