For those homeowners in the Twin Cities, finding a trustworthy remodeler can seem like a daunting task. Well – not anymore! We’ve come up with this comprehensive list of qualities that makes a great home remodeler in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Look for a combination of these when you’re going through the remodeler hiring process.
A premier remodeling company will have years of experience in their field, ready for any scenario, no matter what it is. When you work with an experienced remodeler, you gain peace of mind knowing they’ve seen it all, done it all, and can accurately assess the scope of your project. This way, you’re not stuck at the end with a huge bill or delayed construction.
A team of remodelers shouldn’t be competent at their craft – they should be experts. Home remodelers become great only when they’ve completed a wide number and variety of projects. Expertise cannot be gained without experience and vice versa.
Attention to Detail
Any remodeler worth his weight will have incredible attention to detail. This is a basic function of the job. After all, there are a countless number of things that go into even the most simple remodeling project. Whether it’s knowing zoning requirements, abiding by code laws or analyzing old blueprints, only a detailed contractor is a successful one.
This one seems like common sense, but many times, homeowners will go with the cheaper-bidding company over the company that seems more trustworthy. This approach may turn out to backfire on you. You can’t put a price on a trustworthy remodeling company. There are simply too many things that go into home construction that you can’t know. The remodeler should be there to act as a servant leader throughout the entire process.
This applies to the remodeler’s ability to alter their schedules based on your needs and timeline. Construction projects involve everything from electricity to plumbing to painting, requiring logistical prowess in scheduling materials and coordinating teams. You want to hire someone that knows how to get the job done in the timeframe agreed upon up front.
References are the easiest way to narrow down your list of contractors. If a contractor cannot produce at least three references, you should cross them off your list. For the contractors that do give you references, you should take the time to contact these individuals. Previous references can give you a good look at the remodeler’s skill level, reliability, reputation and much more.
Versatile or Specialty?
From basements to bathrooms to kitchens, a versatile remodeler will normally provide a more affordable yet generic room remodel. A specialist, on the other hand, may provide a much higher-quality remodel, but at a higher price. The type you choose will depend on your goals and budget.
If a contractor has a strong network of reliable subcontractors, your project will advance much more quickly. This is due to the fact that the remodeler doesn’t have to waste time searching around for the right people for the job. Before starting, request that the remodeler give you a list of their usual subcontractors.
Loyalty is key in an industry where the consumer can easily be taken advantage of. A remodeler that shows loyalty will always call you back as soon as possible, provide you with honest information about pricing and let you know immediately when problems arise.
A remodeler that shows integrity will always do exactly what they say they will. They stand behind every aspect of their work, from successes to failures, and always act responsibly when it comes to keeping the project organized and the client informed.
If you are thinking about hiring a contractor that has a personality which clashes with yours, you may want to think twice. You will be communicating with your contractor a lot throughout the duration of your project, and if you don’t get along with them, your remodel is going to be an unpleasant experience.
If you hire a contractor that isn’t reliable, the task of building your dream home is going to be a headache-inducing nightmare. To avoid a long, frustrating building project, ask the contractor’s references about their reliability. If you have any doubts about the reliability of a potential contractor, you should move on and find a more suitable candidate.
Insurance is a must-have for any remodeling project. You never know what could happen. The homeowner, the general contractor and the subcontractors—plumbers and electricians, for example—all need insurance coverage. Ask your remodeler before you start to provide you with proof of insurance to keep your mind at ease.
In Minnesota, a building contractor and remodeler must obtain a license to legally remodel a building in the state. Don’t even speak with a remodeler if he tries to offer his services without a license.
Remodelers can get accreditations to help them stand out from the competition. These are good indicators that the home remodeler can be trusted. Look for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) badge, which is the industry standard.
Like we said earlier, throughout your project you’ll be communicating with your contractor – a lot. If he can’t get his message across, or if references tell you that he’s a bad communicator, move on. There’s too much essential information that needs to be relayed and discussed.
Since it’s your home that’s being remodeled, your voice should be heard. Tell the general contractor exactly what you want and why. Their job is not to try to convince you to do it their way. Yes, homeowners will sometimes want things done that are structurally impossible or cost-prohibitive. They need to explain why it cannot be done and offer a justifiable alternative that offers a similar effect.
Competitive Pricing (Willing to Work With You)
Your contractor’s rates can provide excellent insight into their skill level. If they offer a quote that’s wildly low, you can assume that the quality of the contractor is poor. On the flip side, a wildly high quote does not mean the remodeler is above average. The majority of trusted remodelers will charge a fair price that falls in the middle of the scale. The best way to find a reasonable price range for your project is to request quotes from a number of different contractors. Once you have these quotes, you can find your optimal price range by comparing the quotes to the bidding company’s reputation.
Another great way to tell if a home remodeling company’s work quality is above average is to look at their portfolio. Experienced home remodelers should have an extensive portfolio showcasing their past work, instilling confidence in the consumer that the company can provide a similar quality of work for them.
A company’s reputation is everything these days. A good home remodeling company should have lots of positive reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp and Angie’s List, as well as testimonials from previous customers on their website.
Knowledge of Construction Methods
If the contractor you choose does not know the latest and greatest construction methods, the chances are they won’t complete your project correctly. While hiring a contractor to complete a professional remodel isn’t quite the same as hiring your retired dad for a DIY job, it’s nevertheless important to understand the construction approach your hire takes.
Knowledge of Minneapolis-St. Paul Remodeling Regulations
The Twin Cities have specific rules and guidelines regarding home remodeling. Some deal with safety while others have to do with storm protection. If you bring in a remodeler who’s unfamiliar with these regulations, you could run into trouble with authorities and be forced to tear down an already finished project.
One of the biggest signs that a company may not be a good fit is if they don’t act professionally. If they tell you they don’t need permits or pressure you to hire them without providing references, move another way. These things are unprofessional. Worthy remodeling companies want you to take your time making decisions and to make a choice only when you feel its right.
Operates out of Headquarters
In a similar vein, a physical location will reaffirm their professionalism. If the contractor is not permanently established, how can you be confident that they will complete the work or be in business tomorrow should there be any problems?
Makes You Comfortable
You should always feel comfortable about hiring a contractor. You should know in your gut that it is a good decision. If you feel like something is off or you feel unsure, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few extra days to ponder your decision. If those unsure feelings don’t disappear, then trust them and walk away from the proposal.
Known as Thought Leaders
Scan their website blog and social media accounts – are they posting interesting and cutting-edge industry content? Those posting thoughtful, relevant resources are much more likely to care about their standing in the industry and give each of their projects individualized attention.
Contractors who have operated in your local region for years know how to ensure the success of any remodeling projects. TLS Home Improvement, for instance, is familiar with local building codes and other construction requirements, making your remodel process smoother and simpler. We also have a deep understanding of our region’s climate, so we can recommend the best materials and products for your needs.
Known by Friends and Family
Have any of your friends or family recently gone through a remodel that they love? Ask them who completed the work and if they could provide a reference. The greatest affirmation that you can receive about a remodeler comes from the sources you trust most.
Naturally, the best home remodeling companies work exclusively with high-quality, brand-name products, receiving better prices by building relationships with suppliers and buying in bulk. A home remodeling company that lists the brands of products, materials, and supplies they work with shows that they are confident in their quality and take pride in what they do.
Shows Creativity and Curiosity
In the end, a good remodeler should show creativity and curiosity in their work. They shouldn’t be afraid to push the boundaries and think outside the box. After all, as the professional, they are thinking about new remodeling ideas every single day, and can more than likely offer up an awesome suggestion for your project.