When done properly, a remodeled basement can make your home more enjoyable and prove to be a valuable investment. Unfortunately, we have all heard horror stories about home remodeling projects gone wrong.
Problems with longer-than-expected installation, final bills that come in higher than the quote, and shoddy workmanship, sadly, are all too common. We were shocked and embarrassed to find out that, according to the Better Business Bureau statistics, home improvement contractors are the most complained about industry.
We want to educate consumers about how to choose a good, honest home improvement contractor. The industry standards simply are not tough enough. Just about anybody with a hammer and a pickup truck can call themselves a contractor. Before you hire any company to work in or around your home, make sure you have gathered the information necessary to make sure they are the right fit for your project. We have compiled the following information through our years of experience that will allow you to ask the question needed to find a reputable contractor.
You need to make sure any contractor you do business with has proven themselves in the past and will be there if you need them in the future. Don’t just ask the contractor if they are stable; look for tangible proof of longevity and financial stability by asking for the following; proof of establishment, business licenses and insurance.
You can tell a great deal about a contractor based on what others are saying about them – particularly their customers. The old advice of “ask for 3 references” is just too easy to fake. You will need to get a little tougher with your contractor to protect yourself. Insist that any contractor produce the following things; memberships, accolades and awards, and the ability to see their work in person.
A good contractor doesn’t just do good work. A good contractor understands that when working with homeowners, it’s often the little things that can make a big difference. You should find a contractor that shows you respect by the way they treat you, the way they present themselves, the way they treat your property, and their attention to detail. Check if they offer a detailed proposal and design, as well as examples of previous projects for ideas and inspiration.
Another thing to look at when researching a contractor is public reviews and testimonials. Reviews published on the company’s website can often be tough to verify. Look for public reviews on websites such as Google, Yelp, Angie’s List and Houzz. Websites that offer reviews posted directly by homeowners are also a great way to see the level of customer service that a company provides. Are they responding to reviews? Remember, no company is perfect, a few less than perfect reviews are to be expected.
Choosing the right contractor for your project makes all the difference. Finished Basements Plus has been specializing in basement remodeling for over 17 years. We have the people, products, and processes that are needed to ensure a remarkable remodeling experience and to build a basement that will last. You can count on our team of professionals to handle every aspect of your project from your first phone call to the final cleaning of your basement.
Using a chart like the one below can help you easily score different contractors to ensure you make the right choice.