Hiring a home renovation contractor can be a real nail-biter.
Some homeowners get three bids — no matter the project — and go with the middle one. You don’t want a cheap job that will just need re-doing in a few years. But neither do you want to spend more money than necessary with some ritzy company that charges as much for its name as for the work they do.
It’s hard to know where to even begin looking for a home renovation contractor. Before you get into all the details, do a little homework.
CHECK REVIEW SITES
When you’re on Yelp or Angie’s List, don’t just look at the number of stars — read a few reviews. See what people who gave the company a lot of stars had to say, and check out a some who gave them one or two stars.
All too often, low ratings are based on complaints about matters that business owners have little control over. A negative review of a roofer could say that the problem was that a few nails were left behind on the lawn. This isn’t the kind of issue that would usually cause customers to avoid a company.
Most importantly, what you will learn here is which home renovation contractors to avoid scrupulously — the ones with many complaints about the same problems.
But weeding out the worst companies isn’t exactly the same as choosing the best.
Ask your friends, neighbors and relatives in the area which home renovation contractor they used and if the liked that company. If your neighborhood has a listserv, use that to solicit recommendations and ideas too. This way you can cast an even wider net much more quickly.
This is a reliable way of gathering information, because online review sites tend to attract more angry customers than satisfied ones, and the recommendations on a home renovation contractor’s website obviously are going to be all good.
This will help you narrow the field even more. A home renovation contractor you like may not do a project as large or as small or as specific as yours — only the ones who truly want the work will come out to give you a price.
Then you can compare estimates, and not just bottom lines. Compare aspects of the project that should be the same for each company, like labor costs, and if one seems way out of line with the others, ask why.
Once you get this far in the process, you’re likely to be out of danger of making a poor choice, but it’s still good to ask lots of questions. For more tips on how to find a great home renovation contractor, check out this advice from the folks at This Old House.
If you’re looking for an experienced, respected contractor for a home exterior project, call Renovation by Burbach. Our land-standing reputation is proof of our expertise and integrity. Contact us today if you need an exterior home renovation contractor.