Bismarck | Mandan's Custom Home Build and Remodel Professionals

You’ve heard the horror stories from friends and family. Here’s how to find the remodel team that is right for you.

Embarking on a remodeling project is an exciting journey, but finding the right company can be a daunting task. The success of your project heavily relies on choosing a skilled, reliable professional who understands your vision. Here’s a detailed guide on how to find the remodel company you really want, complete with essential facts, verification tips, and key questions to ask.

1. Start with Research

Know What You Want

  1. Define Your Goals: Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your remodel. Consider aspects like design, functionality, and any specific features you desire. How do you want to feel in your new space? How does your daily life look now vs how you want it to look in your remodeled space?
  2. Create a Wishlist: Make a detailed list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your project. This will help you communicate your vision effectively to potential remodelers.

Know Your Budget

  1. Establish Your Budget: Determine both your ideal budget and your maximum budget before reaching out to potential remodelers. If you lack recent remodeling experience, be prepared for costs to exceed initial expectations.
  2. Communicate Clearly: Being open and comfortable discussing your budget will help remodelers understand your financial boundaries and tailor their recommendations accordingly.

Gather Recommendations

  1. Friends and Family: Ask for referrals from people you trust who have recently completed remodeling projects.
  2. Online Reviews: Check websites like Yelp, Houzz, and Google Reviews for feedback from previous clients.
  3. Facebook: We hate to say it, but asking Facebook community groups can be a useful way to uncover any horror stories about potential companies. Just remember, people are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. It’s important to keep in mind that there are often two sides to every story, and emotions can run high when significant amounts of money are involved, as with a home project. However, if you notice a consistent pattern of negative feedback about a specific company, it’s reasonable to assume there may be some truth to those stories.

Check Credentials

  1. Licensing and Certification: Ensure the remodeler is licensed and certified by relevant authorities in your state. Professional associations like the National Association of Home Builders provide certifications for reputable companies.
  2. Insurance: Verify that the remodeler carries both liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

2. Questions to ask

Experience and Expertise

  1. How long have you been in the remodeling business?
  2. Can you provide examples of similar projects you’ve completed?
  3. Do you have a portfolio or references I can contact?
  4. Here’s a fun one : What’s the worst experience you’ve had with a client and how did you handle it?

Project Management

  1. Who will be my main point of contact throughout the project?
  2. What is your process for handling project delays or changes?
  3. How do you ensure that the project stays on schedule and within budget?

Quality and Standards

  1. What steps do you take to ensure the quality of your work?
  2. Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work?
  3. Do you believe that there is such a thing as “perfection” when it comes to remodeling projects?
  4. How do you handle any issues or defects that arise after the project is completed?

Verify your remodeler

Check References

  1. Ask for references from the remodeler and contact those previous clients to ask about their experiences. Inquire about the remodeler’s communication, adherence to schedule, and handling of any issues that arose.

Review Portfolios

  1. Look at the remodeler’s previous work to assess their style, quality, and attention to detail. Not all remodel companies have professional photos of every job they have performed, so ask about any additional projects that may not be on their professional portfolio page.

Visit Ongoing Projects

  1. If possible, visit a current job site to see how the remodeler works in real-time. This can provide insights into their work ethic and project management skills.

Address common client fears

Schedule Concerns

  • Fear: The project will take longer than expected.
  • Question to Ask: What is your projected timeline for this project, and how do you plan to stay on schedule? Have you ever finished a project after your projected completion date? (This is a fantastic question to ask, because there will be guaranteed instances where a remodeler hasn’t been able to meet a deadline due to many factors that often arise in this industry. If a remodeler has a robust portfolio and denies finishing later than expected on any job, this should raise a few red flags.

Budget Overruns

  • Fear: The project will go over budget.
  • Question to Ask: How do you handle cost overruns? Can you provide a detailed estimate and discuss any potential variables? How do you communicate budget updates throughout the project?

Quality Issues

  • Fear: The quality of the work won’t meet expectations.
  • Question to Ask: What measures do you take to ensure high-quality workmanship? Can you provide examples of how you’ve handled quality issues in the past?

Communication Gaps

  • Fear: There will be poor communication throughout the project.
  • Question to Ask: How often will we communicate, and what methods do you use to keep clients updated? Has a previous client ever had a complaint about your communication throughout the project?

Finalize the Contract

Once you’ve selected a remodeler, it’s crucial to have a clear and detailed contract. This should include:

  1. Scope of Work: Detailed description of the project, including materials and finishes.
  2. Payment Schedule: Clear payment terms and schedule.
  3. Timeline: Specific start and end dates.
  4. Change Orders: Procedure for handling changes to the original plan.
  5. Warranties: Information on warranties for workmanship and materials.

Finding the right remodeler requires diligent research, asking the right questions, and verifying credentials and references. By addressing common fears and ensuring clear communication, you can confidently choose a remodeler who will bring your vision to life while staying on schedule and within budget. Happy remodeling!

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