Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

Although there are many honest remodeling contractors available, the field has had many dishonest individuals within the industry as well. As a result, many homeowners fear that they are going to have poor results, especially during their first remodeling project, because they are not aware of how to handle hiring a contractor on their own. To help prevent further remodeling disasters for future remodeling projects, the following short overview will provide you with more insight into what you should and should not do when you are seeking to switch up your house’s style.

Avoid Low Bids


A lot of tougher competition is causing some professionals to lower their profit margins with lower bids and then make up the difference by providing low quality work. Check out the going rate for your project by getting around three estimates instead of jumping towards the lowest estimate available.

Check References


Reputable contractors are always comfortable with providing names and contact information for satisfied clients. You should try to check out all of their past jobs in person so that you can talk with the customers and find out how long the finished work has been able to last. You should also check the Better Business Bureau and the state’s attorney general’s office for complaints before you choose your contractor.

Get a Written Contract


The contract should state in detail about everything that needs to be done before the project would be considered complete. It should list the associated costs and a payment schedule. You should not sign a contract that has a lot of open ended amounts or allowances for products and materials.

Review All Paperwork


This includes the up to date license and insurance information and workers compensation policies. The contractor should get permits and then give you a lien waiver when the job is done to help keep suppliers from contacting you for unpaid bills. You also need to get the final certificate of occupancy.

Don’t Pay Cash


Above anything, you should never pay cash. Instead, write out the check to the contracting company and not the contractor themselves. Paying by credit card is also able to provide you with a layer of protection. A reasonable down payment would be 30 percent of the total project cost to be upon initial delivery of the materials. You should make final payments only when the work is completed to your own satisfaction. A reputable contractor would not have any reason to pressure you for money if the job has not been finished correctly yet.

By keeping these points in mind, you can protect yourself from many remodeling disasters and from hiring someone who may not be as experienced or licensed as they may claim. If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about claims that potential contractors are making, it’s always best to look for other options or verify with other professionals in the area about the reputation of the contractor’s work.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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