Do you know the saying “Buyer Beware”? Well, when it comes to remodeling projects, we often say “Homeowner’s Beware”! Take your time. Do your research.

It’s tempting to look for the least expensive remodeling contractor when planning a project. But, don’t be fooled. Numerous homeowners have told us over the years about a great deal they had negotiated with another contractor only to suffer later with shabby work, unmet building codes and extremely disappointing craftsmanship. It’s a shame they ended up with an awful experience.

Whether you are looking to re-design a master bathroom or trying to enlarge your home to accommodate a growing family, hiring the right contractor is a must.

But, like choosing any service, there are things to consider when it comes to a successful outcome.

Consider the following mistakes homeowners make so you can avoid the same mistakes.

  1. Hiring the least expensive contractor.
    The first thing to think about is your budget. Set a budget but don’t let a contractor cut corners to save “you” money. In the long run, it won’t save you anything and may cost you dearly. We have heard horror stories about homeowners who trusted low-quality contractors and were left disappointed, and we have been hired to correct many of them – watch this video of one rescue. There’s a reason why some contractors offer cheaper rates – it may be because they are using lower quality products or not using the best installation technics. Which means the project may not last as long as you hoped it would.
  2. Neglecting to verify a contractor’s credentials.
    You must check how long a company has been in business which should tell you something about their experience to do your project. One of my favorite questions to ask a contractor is “what’s the last Building Science Seminar you attended. I laugh when I hear a contractor say “I’ve been installing windows the same way for the last 40 years” which means he’s been installing them wrong for the last ten. Building methods have changed drastically in recent years. They’ve changed all to make your home last longer and be healthier to live in. Another verification is to check for their license to work in the State or local township. Lastly, all contractors need to carry worker’s compensation and general liability insurance to protect homeowners if a worker is injured on your property or if the contractor damages your property.
  3. Neglecting a thorough review of the contract.
    Homeowners must thoroughly review the remodeling contract before signing. The contract needs to include the contractors address, (not a PO Box number) the contractor’s license number, the final price, a payment schedule, an insurance certificate, warranty information, list of materials (including Brand name, model number, color and size), start and finish dates, who’s getting the necessary permits, the right to cancel and Lead base paint information. You’re entitled to these rights.
  4. Not getting required building permits or ignoring building codes.
    Many homeowners are unaware of the required permits necessary for many remodeling projects. Permits not only saves lives but also protects the health and safety of homes.

Click here for more information about remodeling contracts and what should be in them.