Have you made the decision to remodel your home to fit your family’s needs instead of selling and buying new? If that is the case, then you need to protect this huge financial investment from unlicensed unprofessional contractors. With your home on the line, it is imperative to find a contractor you can trust. As a top remodeler in Southwest Florida, Luxury Home Solutions (LHS), has the top tips to guarantee you make the right choice when you find, assess, and hire a remodeler.
Make Sure You Hire a Pro!
The best place to start is to contact your local building departments and associations to obtain a Directory of members. You can go to the Collier County Building Association, CBIA, website at https://www.cbia.net/membership/member-directory/ and Lee Building Industry Association, LBIA, at http://www.bia.net/members where you can download local remodelers through the online directory.
A professional remodeler will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. Using the above Building Industry Association Directories can help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling that you might need, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help change your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGP) to create a more energy-efficient home.
Research, Then Research Again!
Start your research by viewing the prospective remodeler’s company website and social media accounts to see photos of their work. Visit review sites like Houzz to see more pictures and to read reviews of remodeling companies. Take the best with the worst whilst reading online evaluations and reflect on the descriptions of experiences and qualities which can be most vital to you as a patron. Ask for referrals from friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, and others who’ve had remodeling work performed on similar homes with comparable schedules.
Cut the List Down!
Once you have an index of prospective remodelers for your home renovation, do a little more investigating to confirm that they’re licensed and have a terrific business record. You can check their license on the State of Florida Department of Professional Regulation website. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection. You can also get actively licensed contractor lists from Lee County Building Department here and Collier Building Department here!
Ask All the Right Questions!
When you first meet with the top three remodelers on your narrowed down list, you want to ask these important questions:
- How long have they been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
- Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
- What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what sort of issues could arise?
- Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work.)
- Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed, protects both of you, provides a fair payment schedule contract and complies with local, state, and federal laws?
Listen to Your Gut!
Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations will go a long way towards a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust with them.
When going through the above steps to find the right remodeler for you please keep an eye out for these most significate Early Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor:
- You are asked to obtain the permit. A licensed contractor who is in good standing will always obtain the permit; unlicensed contractors cannot pull permits.
- The verbal contract only; contractor is not willing to put all terms in writing. This is always a sign of potential trouble.
- The contractor does not have proof of insurance. All licensed contractors must have current general liability and workers’ compensation insurance at all times.
- You are informed that the job does not require a permit or an inspection. Check with your local building official. Almost all projects that involve installing a pool or pool cage, building an addition, have mechanical, electrical or plumbing work require a permit!
- For jobs requiring a permit, make sure the contractor asks you to sign the “Notice of Commencement”.
- Someone other than the person or company contracting to do the work obtains the permit. As previously stated, a licensed contractor who is in good standing will obtain the permit.
- You are asked to make your check payable to an individual’s name (it should be made payable to a company), or asked to make payment in cash or to make the check payable to “cash”. Licensed contractors will almost always have a separate business account.
Finding a licensed reputable remodeler can be difficult and many are duped, but if you stick with the tips above you will find the right remodeler for your home renovation project! When you’re searching for a remodeler or custom home builder in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Naples Florida, look no further than LHS. We’ve been remodeling and building custom homes for more than 35 years, so you can sit back and relax knowing we have the experience and devotion to remodel or build you a wonderful, custom home. We are the remodeler and custom home builder you can trust! To learn more about our home remodeling work, click here. To get started click here or call 239-728-2143 to get a hold of our team today!
More Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor here!