Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find a trustworthy contractor?
Ask neighbors and friends for referrals. Check Better Business Bureau, local credit references, and construction or remodeling trade associations. Ask for customer referrals and call them.
How can I judge the contractor’s proposal?
Rely upon the reputation of the company you select and the character and good will of the individuals who represent it. Be realistic. The costs of materials and labor change constantly and may fluctuate during the time your job is in progress. Ask your contractor how he can keep costs in line and stand by his company’s proposal.
Will we need to hire an interior designer or architect?
If there are structural or engineering considerations and therefore a building permit is required, you will need the services of a designer or architect and an engineer. If you need help selecting finishes, fixtures, and furnishings or need assistance designing interior spaces, an interior designer is an essential team member.
Will remodeling require a building permit?
Probably. It also depends upon city or county requirements. Most contractors will take care of this paper work for you.
How long will it take to complete the work?
Each proposal should include a production schedule which shows a tentative completion date. Require your contractor to keep you posted on any changes or delays which might change that date.
How can we finance the costs of remodeling?
For major remodeling, a second mortgage or bank line of credit may have income tax advantages. Ask your contractor for his ideas and assistance. Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to manage a realistic payment plan.
Will we need to move out during remodeling?
It may be a smart idea. Especially if extensive work means considerable noise, dust, interruptions. Talk with your contractor at the start. He can explain how long such periods might last.
Would it be wiser to move to a new home instead of remodeling this one?
This should be your first consideration and a decision you should re-visit before you sign a remodeling contract with anyone. Only you will know how to make the right decision.
Will remodeling increase the re-sale value of our home?
Certain improvements have a greater effect upon home value than others. But the appreciated value seldom equals 100 % of the remodeling cost.
Where can I obtain more information about selecting a contractor and learning how to work with them?
Some remodeling industry associations maintain web sites on the Internet containing helpful articles and practical guidelines which may be worth your perusal. But good communication with your contractor is the best assurance you can have.
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