By David Pangione
Pangione Developers Inc
Fall is approaching soon and many homeowners are preparing for a home improvement project. It would be wise to refer to an architect if your remodeling project requires structural adjustments or any type of extensive changes. Many times a well rounded remodeling contracting company can provide a full soup to nuts service. However, once fall arrives, you may feel that hiring a contractor may have been a bit easier than you thought, but is it?
Now would be the time to start calling some local reputable contractors but before you start with this approach, you will need to do some research that can make this process easier and more informative. A few of the most informative ways for collecting names of local builders is to simply start by asking your neighbors and or friends. If you know of any friends or neighbors that have completed a remodeling project similar to yours then that would be a great starting point. Another great place to start searching is on the internet. Start with a Google search with terms like “ NJ Home Additions” and “New Jersey Remodeling” or “NJ Add a Levels”. You can spend a lot of fulfilling time looking for a Bergen County Contractor that you feel will be a good fit for your company. Once you feel like you have a match, check their referrals.
If that is not enough to satisfy your curiosity and you simply need more information you could check with you local building department. As a builder in New Jersey, I have developed many relationships with the local inspectors. It is good to get to know these people so they understand your character as well as your craftsmanship. These inspectors gain first hand knowledge of your reputation and can provide insight for homeowners that are looking for a builder to hire.
Another great place to start is by contacting tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, tiling as well as heating and air conditioning installers. These tradesmen make a living working for various home remodeling companies and would be able to provide some valuable insight. You can also call an architect, your lending institution or even a home designer. These professionals all have relationships with home builders and can provide you their insight only as they know it.
So now you have a few contractors in mind that you are leaning towards. What now!!!. One of the most important aspects of searching for a contractor is that you want to be able to get along with them. The company may have a solid reputation but you want to be able to work together or else the remodeling project may feel like it is never ending. Create a few questions regarding your project and throw a question or two in there to simply have a general conversation. You will know if they are a good fit for you and your company. Once you are leaning towards a favorite then check their license status in your state. If they have no license, immediately move on to the next candidate. Insurance and references would be the next items to look at so make sure you have all your bases covered.
One of the best ways to check on a contractor after you have narrowed down the process is to get a list of completed projects from your contractor of choice. Visit the sites and if possible, speak with that homeowner to determine if they were satisfied with the remodeling contractor. Once you have gone through these steps then you are ready to sign a contract with your selected contractor. One thing I like to do when we sign contracts is to sit down with my new customers and actually read the contract from start to finish, stopping along the way to explain any questions that they may have. A homeowner at this point is usually very excited and nervous at the same time that their home is about to be transformed. There are a lot of uncertainties for them since this is the first time they are encountering a home remodeling so they don’t know what to expect. If you are unsure about something in your contract, have your contractor stop and explain it to you before moving forward.
Lastly, make sure the contract consists of all the main components such as a warranty, listed materials as well as the payment arrangements. Another tip I can offer is something I like to present to all my customers. A “Project Stages Commitment” form. In writing we list all the stages of development that will occur from the day of the contract signing up until the last screw is turned. It even states in writing when the estimated finish date will be. Again, with most customers overwhelmed and a bit anxious to get going, this form provides a bit of comfort knowing how the job will unfold and when it will be finished. I recommend you have your contractor offer the same.
Pangione Developers Inc, a Full Service Design & Build Contractor specializes in Home Additions and Add Levels throughout New Jersey.
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