There is perhaps no decision more impactful to the success of your remodeling project than the team you hire. Your contractor and designer will be the leading force behind turning your vision into a reality. Make sure you take the time to research the right team for your job before signing a contract.

1. Search for a Reputable Designer and Contractor

As you begin the search process, your goal should be to find a reputable team that will provide high-quality work. Use the following tips to help narrow down your hunt for trustworthy teams:

  • Read online reviews: While every company will have a few negative reviews, watch out for companies with a consistently bad online reputation. Pay attention to what specific complaints previous customers have left. Search for companies with more positive reviews than negative and for teams that take the time to respond to their customers.
  • Ask for referrals: A reputable contractor and design team should have previous clients they can put you in touch with to help you understand more about their style of work.
  • Look at portfolios: In some cases, it is not a question of whether or not a team is qualified but rather whether or not they will provide a style or design you like. Spend time looking at photos of projects a team has completed to determine whether or not they will be able to design your dream renovation.

2. Ask Your Designer and Contractor the Right Questions

Once you have narrowed down your list, request an initial consultation with a potential contractor and design team. Prepare a set of questions you plan to ask. You can create questions based on your specific preferences and needs, and you can use the following list to make sure you cover important topics:

  • Are you licensed? (Double check the status of your contractor’s license through www.statelicenseboard.com)
  • How will you handle the permitting process?
  • Are you insured?
  • Do you offer a written warranty?
  • How will you present preliminary designs to me?
  • What will our contract cover?
  • How do you determine your project timeline?
  • How do you pick your subcontractors?
  • Will there be a project lead on-site?
  • How will I receive updates on the project?
  • What experience do you have working on similar projects? May I see a portfolio of work?
  • May I contact previous clients for references?
  • How do you keep current with modern building techniques?

3. Choose a Team You Trust

At the end of the day, it is you who will be dealing with and working alongside the contractor and designer you choose. Make sure that you listen to your instincts. If a team doesn’t feel like a good fit, or you are already running into communication issues during the earliest stages of contact, keep looking. Never settle for less than 100% confidence in a team, after all you will be spending a significant amount of time and money on your renovation project.