Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 16, 2021

Checklist for finding, hiring a builder or remodeler

Have you decided to build a new home or remodel your existing one? Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, so finding a trustworthy contractor with whom you can communicate well is imperative.

Use this checklist to help you select a homebuilder or home remodeler to work on or build your home:

• Contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga for a list of qualified, reliable home professionals. You can also ask family, friends or co-workers for recommendations.

• Make sure the builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.

• Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.

• Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with the local Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org/us/tn/chattanooga).

• Make sure the builder or remodeler has sufficient workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you could be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.

• Ask the contractor to provide you with the names of previous customers. If they won’t provide referrals, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder or remodeler again.

• Ask if you can see their work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.

• Do you feel you can easily communicate with the contractor? Remember, you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home.

• Make sure they provide you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, obtain and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.

• Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!

• Verify that your remodeler is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator if you are planning work in a pre-1978 home that will disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside the home or 20 square feet on the exterior of the home.

For a list of qualified, dependable builders and remodeling contractors in our area, visit HBAGC’s membership directory at www.HBAGC.net.