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  • John Markowski

Having work done on your home? First do your homework!

By John Markowski

Your guide to a smooth remodel process

Finding the remodeler who's right for you is not as simple as picking up the Yellow Pages. Although this is a fine place to begin, there are many other factors you should consider. On a big project, you may be working closely with this individual for several months, so you want to do everything possible to ensure that you make the right decision. Here are some good places to start your search:

  • Ask the remodeler what projects they have built in your community.

  • Talk to independent trade contractors, building materials suppliers, architects, engineers, home inspectors, and local lenders.

  • Contact trade associations such as your area's local Remodelers(tm) Council or Builders Association.

Once you have identified some strong candidates, do even more checking to ensure that these are the kinds of remodelers with whom you would like to do business. Call your local or state consumer protection agency to find out if there are any complaints filed against the remodeler. Contact local building inspectors to verify that the remodeler has a clean record.

What to Look For, What to Ask When you hire a remodeler, you are buying a service rather than a product. The quality of the service the remodeler provides will determine the quality of the finished project and your satisfaction with it. You will want to explore the following qualifications when interviewing a remodeler.

  • Obtain a permanent contact number for the contractor.

  • Make sure the remodeler carries insurance that protects you from claims arising due to property damage. Ask the remodeler how much the project will add to your home's value and obtain the necessary additional insurance.

  • Check to see how established the company is in the community. How long has the remodeler been in business? Does the company maintain solid relationships with experienced independent trade contractors? Does the company possess a trustworthy reputation among customers, peers and those in the industry?

  • Inquire whether the remodeler carries a designation such as Certified Graduate Remodelor(tm) (CGR), Certified Bath Designer (CBD) or Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD).

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