Home/Media and Blogs/Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Remodeling Contractor for Your Home Renovation

Published April 11, 2024

Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Remodeling Contractor for Your Home Renovation

Home Remodeling by Dana Laksman


Does your home need to be updated?

Maybe you just realized that you haven't done any remodeling in ten years. Maybe you just purchased your dream home but the kitchen really needs help. Maybe you bought a new build and want to put your own creative stamp on the decor.

Whatever the reason, most of us can think of at least a couple of improvements that our homes could use. Whether your home is a couple centuries old or only a couple of years, a remodeling project can contribute wonderfully to the function and flow of your home--not to mention updating the style and finish.

The difference between a successful remodel and a stressful, unsatisfactory experience can come down to choosing the right remodeling contractor for your job. Remodeling contractors can be some of the most professional, honest and competent tradesmen to be found. Others can be shady, dishonest and clumsy. How should you go about choosing a remodeling contractor? Read this guide to find out.

Choose Your First Remodeling Project

What is your top priority for remodeling your home? Deciding what projects to tackle first can help you to choose which general contractor to hire, as you will want one that offers the services you need.

Do you Need a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor?

inspired design from a great remodeling contractor

If your kitchen is small and poorly laid out you will want to find a kitchen remodeling contractor who specializes in troubleshooting problem kitchens and can help you make this vital space function well.

Many general contractors will take on a kitchen remodel, but they may not have the knowledge and contacts to be able to do the best possible job. Choose a kitchen remodeling contractor who has a specialized kitchen design team to be sure you will get the best results for your investment.

Does Your Bathroom Need to be Updated?

a remodeling contractor with good designers can choose the perfect colors and finishes

Much like kitchens, bathrooms need to function well to keep the whole house from descending into chaos. Find a remodeling contractor who stands by their work so that if a fitting starts leaking three months after the install, you won't find yourself with no choice but to foot the bill for a massive teardown and redo.

Do You Want More Space?

Ask a general contractor about a garage conversion, often an affordable way to add space

If you feel claustrophobic in your home, maybe the answer is to build on. A good home remodeling contractor will know what your best options are. They may suggest an airy yet private garage conversion, a new sunroom, or a whole addition. Whatever your homesite and budget, they will certainly have an idea on how to make your home fit your lifestyle.

Set a Budget

How much do you want to invest in your home? Once you have chosen the projects that would add the most to your enjoyment of your house, you will need to set a realistic budget for the work you want to do.

Get Quotes From Multiple Contractors

This is a great time to start familiarizing yourself with the contractors near you. General contractors will come to your home and listen to what your hopes are for the renovation; they will then write up a detailed estimate for how much it will cost for them to do the work.

Take Into Account the Specialized Trades Necessary For your Project

perfect lighting comes at a price, ask your remodeling contractor about affordable options

Depending on your remodeling goals you may be able to save money by leaving the plumbing fixtures in the same place and keeping alterations to the wiring at a minimum. The more of these licensed professionals are needed to complete your project the more you can expect to pay, so weigh whether it's really worth it to set your heart on an island sink or twenty can lights.

Your Home's Value

Great general contractors can bring many factors together for a spectacular result

As you consider your budget you may be tempted to opt for less expensive materials and minimal changes. Bear in mind the fact that home renovations are disruptive and time consuming; it is definitely worthwhile to aim for perfection now, rather than cheaping out on this renovation only to have to go through the whole hassle again in a few years.

Whether you think in terms of resale value or your own enjoyment and function within your home, a proper renovation adds incredible value to your property. Take the resources you need to make your renovation pay, by listening to your general contractor and taking their recommendations into account.

See how Local Home Remodeling Contractors Stack Up

In most areas you may find a dozen or more remodeling contractors who at least claim that they could do your project, and it can be very advantageous to get estimates from all of them. But which of the general contractors would succeed the best in meeting your goals?

Check the Reviews

To find out about the reputation of the remodeling contractor you are considering, look up their reviews online. Google reviews and Angie's List are great places to find out what experiences other homeowners have had with the contractors you are considering to hire, and the BBB also has excellent information available. If you find no reviews, that could mean something as innocent as a business that is brand new to the area... or it could mean that this general contractor has caused other customers grief and changed the name of their business in order to escape the bad reputation.

Find a general contractor with a long history and an excellent local reputation. Not only will their baseline of work quality and integrity be excellent, they will also know the value of keeping their good reputation and work hard to make you want to leave them a stellar review.

Verify Credentials

Are there licensed professionals working with the remodeling contractor? Do they have a certified lead carpenter? Who are their subcontractors?

At a bare minimum, are the general contractor and their subcontractors insured in case of damage to your property?

Choosing a professional who is fully licensed and insured is of the utmost importance. Your cousin's half brother might be able to do the job... or he might not pull the right permits and end up with the town bulldozer waiting outside your front door to demolish the structure.

Read the Contracts

A professional general contractor will never start work without having all the components of the project in writing. Signing the contract indicates that you agree to the renovations that are described therein, so if the agreement doesn't include all the renovations that you are hoping to have done you may run into disagreements later on.

The Best Remodeling Contractor For Your Projects

Look around on the internet and you will find thousands of general contractor horror stories. From a remodeling contractor who walks away halfway through the remodel, to one who does a terrible job tiling the bathroom and refuses to redo it, to one whose wiring is so bad that it literally sets the house on fire--reading a few of these stories will help you realize how important it is to find a remodeling contractor who has an excellent reputation and works to maintain it.

Good Contractors are Busy

When your remodeling contractor gets results like this you know they don't have much down time

A great general contractor is never short of work. In fact they often have more business than they know what to do with. You may hope to have your new kitchen and bathroom by Christmas, but don't let this dream make you choose a less reputable company; not only might they make mistakes, but they often can't stick to their optimistic deadlines.

Consider a Contractor who Offers Financing

Paying for your project can be a sticking point, as it often costs a substantial amount. Refinancing your home may not appeal to you. What other options are there?

Some contractors have the capital to be able to offer financing for your project. This can be an excellent solution, eliminating an outside third party having a say in how you and your general contractor work together to design and build your new project.

Choose A Remodeling Contractor Wisely to Ensure The Best Results

Whatever the condition of the existing structure, and whatever constraints you have on your entire project, know that a reputable general contractor with years of experience and training is certain to be an asset to your home.

Choose a general contractor with excellent designers on the team and every detail will be perfectly tailored to your needs; choose one with financing options to simplify your payment structure; and choose one who has an impeccable reputation and numerous awards to be sure that your outcome will be top notch and worth many times what you paid. You won't regret investing in the best.

Written by Dana Laksman

Share this entry



(888) 324-1144