Remodeling a house is an excellent way to improve its value, and it’s an ideal plan for anyone considering selling. While some choose to take on this task themselves, hiring the right contractor is smart.

It may appear to be a daunting task, but with proper preparation, it’s achievable.

Here are six tips for hiring the best one.

1. Be Clear About What’s Required

Before engaging a contractor, take the time to work out precisely what’s required. Consider the time of year and the weather conditions, as these could delay the completion. Determine what the contractor will do and what can be left.

If this task feels too overwhelming, it may be wise to initially employ an architect or designer to get this part done.Β 

2. Ask Around

In the building game, referrals are everything. Ask friends, neighbors, or others who have recently hired contractors. They’ve already done the hard yards and can save a lot of time if they know someone worth using.

Β Be wary of friends recommending family members, as there is room for bias. Also, check that any referrals aren’t being given for commission purely commission reasons.

3. Get a Number of Estimates

Even if one’s been referred, it’s necessary to shop around. Get different quotes to compare what’s being suggested. Ask for each to be as detailed as possible, separating labor and material costs, so it’s easier to compare apples for apples.

Remember, cheaper isn’t always better. Go through the estimates as thoroughly as possible, and look at materials suppliers too. This extra check can highlight the quality they put into their work.

Β A better idea of the overall cost can be determined by comparing a few, which may differ from what was initially forecast.

4. Check Them Out

Once you’ve found one, you must do a background check. There are numerous ways to do this, from a simple Google search to using a more specific people search site.Β 

Be sure to check their credentials thoroughly. Are they licensed in the state, and is it current? Confirm that they have sufficient insurance coverage. Typically, this needs to be a minimum of a million dollars in builders’ liability and worker’s compensation.

Do they have experience in the same area that they’re being sought? A concrete specialist, for example, may not be so familiar with timber.

5. Look Deeper into Their Work History

Credentials checking out is one thing, but confirming their track record is equally important. Online reviews are an excellent way of doing this. Take the good with the bad, though. Some people are prone to complain for the sake of it.

If, however, there are numerous complaints suggesting a lack of professionalism, lateness, or going over budget, these are all legitimate concerns.

Visit a current site where they’re working. Look at how they dress and the quality of their vehicles. If things look sloppy or uncared for, this may also be reflected in their work.

6. Set Expectations and BoundariesΒ 

Once engaged, it’s critical to set all expectations. Every contract should have a timeline, allowing for changes in weather conditions, injuries, or illness. There needs to be room on both sides to allow for the unexpected.Β 

Site access needs to be made clear. Parking, entry and exit points, and bathroom use must be agreed upon. Consider whether tradespeople traipsing in and out of the house to use the toilet is feasible or whether a portable one is to be provided.

Remodel With the Right Contractor

Having the right contractor will make any remodel a success.

Begin with a firm plan of what the project will entail.

When it’s time to find a contractor, ask for referrals and get several estimates. Then, when one has been chosen, check their credentials and work history.

Once engaged, be sure to set clear boundaries and expectations.