Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 17, 2020

How to find and hire a remodeler who’s right for you

Are you tired of cooking in a dated kitchen or spending time in cramped living space you’ve outgrown?

If you’re a homeowner who would rather upgrade than sell your house, it might be time to remodel. If your remodel involves structural, electrical or plumbing work, you should consider hiring a professional remodeler.

A professional remodeler works to ensure construction on your home is completed safely and meets high quality standards. Some projects take considerable time and money, so it’s important to select a contractor you can trust. Here are five pro tips on how to find and hire a remodeler.

Utilize a professional directory

A general internet search of remodelers will generate dozens of names, but how do you vet them all? The best place to start is by utilizing a directory of professional remodelers. The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s online directory at HBAGC.net provides a searchable listing of quality professional builders and remodelers in the area.

Also, the National Association of Home Builders has a directory of professional remodelers in your area dedicated to the highest professional and ethical standards in the home building industry. The NAHB directory can help you find a remodeler with specialized training such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist to help modify your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler to make your home more energy-efficient.

Research potential remodelers

A professional remodeler will likely have a website or social media account that showcases previous home renovation projects. Review sites such as Angie’s List, Houzz or HomeAdvisor might also have photos of completed project and reviews.

Online reviews tend to have a mix of positive and negative comments. It’s important to focus on descriptions of experiences and qualities that are important to you as a customer.

Reliable referrals can also come from family, friends and neighbors. Ask them about the type of remodeling work completed on comparable homes with similar schedules.

Narrow your list

A good rule of thumb is to double-check that your potential contractor has the appropriate license and a good track record. Your local or state office of consumer protection will likely have information about the contractor you’re researching. You should be able to verify that the remodeler has the appropriate licenses and registrations.

Connect, ask questions

A qualified remodeler will be forthright and answer any questions you might have about their professional experience, knowledge of the homes in your area and details related to the residential building permitting process.

Ask about how long their business has been in the community and request references. You also want to make sure the contractor carries insurance that will protect you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries.

Explore steps for estimates and contracts

To make sure you and your contractor agree on the scope of the project, it’s important be on the same page about the specifics. A qualified remodeler will provide a written estimate before beginning the work and provide a detailed contract. The contract should clearly spell out what work will and will not be performed and provide a payment schedule.

Overall, your home remodeling project should be a positive experience if you work with a professional that fits your needs. Trust your instincts when hiring a remodeler. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your remodeler over the course of your project, so trust and regular communication is key.

You don’t have to do it alone. Search the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s online directory at www.HBAGC.net to find a professional remodeler who can help you plan your home updates.