​Things to Consider ​Before ​ Renovating, 3/5: Choosing a Builder


Finding a reputable builder can be the difference between having the confidence that the work will be done correctly and the living nightmare of being in a house that is unsafe with no recourse. You’re ready to get your project under way. How do you select a contractor well suited for your new addition and what steps will give you the confidence to find the right one? Here are a few suggestions that will build confidence in the process:

Referrals: It may begin with word of mouth, but a good referral from someone you know or have met is a good starting point. When seeking the input of someone that has completed a successful remodeling project, be certain to put the greatest amount of stock in the words of someone who has done a similar project to what you’re planning to build. If you’re doing an 1,500 SQ foot addition, you’ll get more value from someone who has also done a large project than from hearing a remodel that was just a small bathroom upgrade. The specificity and process is different enough to yield an apples and oranges-like experience. Whether you’ve mined an online site or Mike, from down the hall at the office, all the above applies. Cross-reference: A good referral or references are only as good as your ability to look into them. Put your research cap on and ask the questions that will uncover the kind of project they did. The budget they developed and how they integrated their design work into the project. Return to the “personal inventory” with your elements of style, space and function and put your goals into the form of questions that will help uncover what’s important. This will prepare you to speak informatively to the contractor that will do the work for you.

Get The Bids: Whomever you select to expand your new home, there will be a set of trade-offs that you’ll need to make. Acknowledging that fact will simplify how you select your contractor. In other words, it will not be as simple as choosing the cheapest bid, but the specific goals and outcome you have in mind will allow you to better pin down what’s most important to you.