Finding the right contractor can feel overwhelming. You’ll be spending lots of time and money with your contractor, so knowing if they’re the right fit from the beginning is crucial. This blog post will give you a framework for making the right decision and what to look for when searching for remodeling contractors in the South Bend/Michiana area.
Homeowners today have endless online resources to collect ideas and find inspiration for their dream home remodel. After you’ve created your Houzz Ideabook and pinned your favorite Pinterest projects, the next step is to figure out who in the community can make it a reality.
Every remodeling contractor in the area should have:
After you’ve identified viable partners, you’ll want to reach out to get a better sense of their overall fit for your project. This leads us to…
As you begin talking with contractors in the area, pay close attention to their emphasis on details. Here are two key areas to focus on:
One of the first questions homeowners ask remodeling contractors is, “how much will this cost?” When you’re asking for estimates, details make all the difference:
If a contractor is sending you an estimate without clearly defining the details, chances are that “estimate” is a “guestimate” at best.
Accurate estimating takes time. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on a remodel, it’s worth spending this extra time upfront to clearly identify your goals and expectations and create a shared understanding with your contractor. By taking this approach, all the heavy lifting is taken care of during pre-construction. You’ll feel a huge sense of relief knowing the cost, timeline, and end result won’t change halfway through your project.
One of the biggest problems with choosing a remodeling contractor based on price is it’s nearly impossible to get an apples-to-apples bid.
If you send your plans to three contractors and ask for bids, each of those contractors will read your plans differently. Unless you are taking the steps identified earlier (defining your goals, clearly visualizing the end result, discussing material choices) with every contractor, it won’t be as simple as choosing the least expensive option.
Homeowners are commonly frustrated by projects taking twice as long and costing twice as much as was originally estimated. This is a result of poor planning and misunderstanding. In more nefarious cases, contractors will create their estimates with the cheapest materials in mind - allowing them to drive down the cost and offer an attractive, low bid.
If you plan on making big changes to your kitchen, bathroom, or other living spaces, hiring a full-service, design-build firm is a smart choice. With a full-service firm, you’ll have an entire team of experts working with you to accomplish your goals: interior designers, project managers, and craftsmen. With all of these experts working under one roof, transitioning from one phase to the next is smooth and efficient.
For example, our designers are working with execution in mind. They are collaborating with the construction team to ensure the design can be built within your budget and timeline. When you work with multiple entities on larger projects, incentives may become misaligned. Designers create plans that you love and assure you it can be built within your budget, but once those plans get sent to your contractor, you find out it will actually cost you $30,000 more than you expected. It wouldn’t make sense for a designer at a design-build firm to do this, because he/she has a stake in the end result and seeing the project through to execution.
It’s very common for homeowners to reach out to contractors hoping to get started right away on their projects. The reality is, quality contractors are busy and likely can’t fit you in as quickly as you hope. To account for this, start reaching out to contractors months before you hope to actually get started. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances of finishing within your timeline.