Everything You Need to Know About Home Improvement ContractorsFebruary 15, 2019
Thinking of taking on a home remodeling project? This may be a daunting task for many. Especially if you’re planning to do everything on your own. Managing various suppliers and agents may consume most of your time and effort. If ever you need any help with any home projects that require fine touches, then it’s best to hire a home improvement contractor. These experts will assist you in managing and organize everything you need to help accomplish your goals. Here is what you need to know about home improvement contractors:
What Does a Home Improvement Contractor Do?
A home improvement contractor, typically referred to as subcontractors, is usually tasked to partner with a remodeling contractor in order to rebuild, restore, or expand an existing home. Home improvement contractors will be tasked to choose the best materials and designs to work with in order to apply the finishing touches of your home.
- They don’t simply slap on the most attractive or most expensive materials into your home. They have to cater to their customer’s wants and needs. But they don’t also provide suggestions for customers in order to get a back for their buck and provide insights on complementing the design.
What they will have to work on a house are things such as installing new windows, the flooring, new cabinets, sidings, and even the landscaping. The goal of making the overall household experience better also involves adding space and making sure that everything is placed in a user-friendly manner.
- Most of their tasks involve a lot of coordination with other various contractors, such as a cabinet contractor, flooring contractor, countertop contractor, painter, material suppliers, electricians, and plumbers.
Home improvement contractors not only carefully coordinate with other professionals and specialists, but they also know the best people to contact in order to maximize labor charges and commonly know how to do the tasks themselves. They can keep a close eye on the development of the house and see to it that the standards of both the contractor and the customer are met.
- They are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to remodeling a home. Especially existing homes that need some major overhaul. Keep in mind that it takes around a month to remodel certain sections of a house, such as the kitchen and landscaping.
With a highly experienced home improvement contractor, you can expect zero delays with the scheduled timeline of your house’s remodeling. Customer’s that are proactive with the development process of their house could learn a lot of the fine details of what’s going on in their new home.
Usually, a home improvement contractor would always keep their customers updated with their tasks and the changes made during the rebuild. It is also up to the contractor to present the accomplished tasks to the owners of the home.
Difference Between a Home Improvement Contractor and General Contractor
A general contractor is in charge of overseeing everything that is involved with the development of a home. They schedule tasks, organize and execute the large scale remodeling projects.
These general contractors are responsible for remodeling a house based on architectural ideas, house theme, and specific home designs. In general, they take the reins when it comes to longer projects. They supervise everything that goes on in the restructuring of a house.
Even the home improvement contractor answers to the general contractor. If you are in need of any large scale long projects involving real estate remodeling, a general contractor will be the person to call. They will likely suggest a professional home improvement contractor for the finer details of the house; typically, when the house’s structure is complete. In retrospect, they work hand in hand with the rest of the agents involved in perfecting a home for their customers.
How to Hire a Home Improvement Contractor
There are a lot of home improvement contractors out there that will be willing to be hired in order to help you out with your house. But not every contractor has the same level of expertise and integrity. There are those that truly mean well and are genuine about a customer’s passion but there are some that may put one on you.
There are also some rules to follow when hiring a home improvement contractor. More often than not, most people hire a home improvement contractor without even needing one. This results in unnecessary costs. On the other hand, there are those that need one but don’t hire one at all.
When to hire a contractor depends on how long and how much work it will take. A key thing to take note of are these: if a remodeling job is going to take more than a month and if several different tasks that require a number of professionals/suppliers, then you should definitely hire a home improvement contractor. Apart from those, here are some things to look out for and avoid when hiring a home improvement contractor.
Qualities of an Ideal Contractor
A Contractor Who’s Easy to Contact
The best person for the job will be one who will keep their lines open to their customers. Never hesitant to answer any of their client’s questions and queries. Proper communication is paramount in any project. This minimizes any mistakes that may occur within the project. A professional home improvement contractor will always keep you posted with the tasks the daily tasks and report any changes in order for you to help him/her call the shots. They must comply if you insist on sending daily or weekly reports, and more importantly following through with your every demand.
Understands the Value of Materials
A competent home improvement contractor will suggest the best materials that will work within your budget. They will not compromise or cut corners in the process of selecting materials. The client must also research the prices of the market in order to confirm if a home improvement contractor is honest with the money you are shelling out to purchase the necessary materials for the job.
Usually, a home improvement inspector will always hand out a receipt or a written description of the needed materials. They must never resort to sub-par quality materials in order to get the work done. Those who have a reputation to uphold will go out of their way to grab the best things for your home to preserve its value to stand the test of time.
Always hire a home improvement contractor who has a worthy portfolio. If you plan on hiring someone who is making a name for themselves, you must ensure that they are capable of handling your projects. Ideally, hiring a veteran for the job is of priority.
Working with someone with amazing credentials will give you peace of mind. These experts follow a strict code of ethics when it comes to their job. This is essential because a home improvement contractor will work with a team and plenty of third-party agents as well. Someone with astounding management skills is what you should hire.
Another thing to take note of is hiring a contractor who is licensed, bonded, and insured. This will prevent the clients from being liable for any accidents involved with the project. An experienced contractor will never pinpoint any faults to their clients for any risk.
A Contractor Who Has Everything in Writing
Scout for a contractor who will provide you with a detailed timeline, scheduled reports, a list of payment arrangements, a full-blown description of the project, and a list of every supplier and third-parties involved.
Your contractor should indicate a set deadline they will comply with. This will ensure any client that the contractor will dedicate their time for your project. Organization is another key quality that a contractor must have.
Presenting a client with a detailed timeline and a set deadline is an early sign that a contractor is organized and has a good work ethic. Never leave the table without anything that is presented in writing. This will be their promise to clients that they will execute their job with professionalism and precision.
An Upfront and Proactive Contractor
During the early stages of the project, a good sign that your home improvement contractor is a great one is how proactive he is with all of his projects, including yours. Once the remodeling begins, you may ask for a breakdown of the project’s phases.
This means creating a more intricate timeline based on the main timeline. This should include the costs and time required for each task. Clients will have a clearer foresight with what to expect from the project. A great home improvement contractor will not hesitate to give you a breakdown of each specific task for the week or even better, for the day.
Allows the Client to Make the Final Decision
A home improvement contractor must let the client choose the color, ideal materials, theme and finishes of the house. They shouldn’t suddenly surprise their customers with independent choices unless instructed to. If a contractor makes suggestions, they must let their clients review the samples and list, before they give the contractor the green light.
What to Avoid
A project that involves remodeling or improving a home is an overwhelming job. Resorting to hiring a contractor can help ease some strain and stress. Though there are contractors that would take advantage of their clients.
Devastatingly, without even the clients noticing that their contractor is taking advantage of their costs. Anyone could fall for this trap as many would contractors would intentionally provide any false or misleading information about themselves. Here are other signs of potentially fraudulent contractors and how to protect yourselves from them:
One of the first signs that you should avoid a certain contractor is if they only want payments made in cash. Never allow or permit this sort of payment method. If they insist on cash payments, this is a clear sign that a contractor will scam you. Legitimate contractors will never let you pay them in cold hard cash.
Using Left Over Materials
Serious contractors will never ever allow the use of leftover materials from any previous projects. If you notice your contractor bringing in old materials or materials that aren’t fresh, you should start looking for a new home improvement contractor. You’re paying for new materials, using leftovers can be a sign that a contractor is pocketing some of the money that is meant for quality supplies.
Asking Clients to Get Building Permits
A licensed contractor will never ask for the customers to acquire a building permit. This is part of their job. If a contractor requests that their client get a building permit is a sign that their license is fake or they have none at all. Never settle for any of their excuses if this is their request. It is an unethical and unacceptable practice.
Requesting for Immediate Decisions
Never allow yourself to concede to a contractor who requests for immediate decisions. A home improvement contractor should allow their clients to think through every decision they make. A licensed professional will always give the client the time they need to decide, whether it concerns the supplies or the end design. There should be no pressure placed on the client’s end.
The Best Home Improvement Contractors with B&W
Whether it’s exterior folding doors or garden window replacement, there are numerous things to know and consider when you want the right person for your home remodeling project. It’s never easy to work on remodeling a new or existing house. Hiring a home improvement contractor should help ease any tension and stress when taking on a new project.
Working in proper coordination with your contractor will bring out the best in your project. These are but a few and essential things you need to know about what a home improvement contractor does and how to get the right contractor for the job. If you need more information about home improvement, click here to learn more from our website and get an in-depth view of products and services!