Siding, Renovations, & Installations:
Choosing The Right Contractor.
Before starting a home renovation project, you will need to find the right partner to work with, a reputable local contractor with the right skills for the job. This decision will have the greatest impact on how your project will unfold, from start to finish, and beyond!
Whether you’re considering a low budget remodel or an expensive/extensive exterior, or interior renovation, you need an experienced and insured contractor who understands your goals and has a history of accomplishing the type of project you have in mind.
Choosing a contractor is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be a source of stress or anxiety. There are a number of sources for homeowners that make it fairly painless to find the right contractor for your home renovation project and instill confidence in your choice.
There are many reputable sources online, such as your local BBB or Home Builders Association. Other easy to use services can also help with your vetting process and include Houzz.com, Homestars.com, Google Local Businesses, Trusted Pros, and Guild Quality Surveys, to name a few.
The Following is a compilation of the best advice from West Coast Barrier to help you get your home renovation journey started.
- Determine the extent of your home renovation.In the interest of finding the most suitable contractor for your renovation, it is essential to consider a complete scope of work. As an example, if you are renewing your home’s exterior envelope and siding, are there areas of concern, such as rot repair? Will there be brick or stone that you will want removed or replaced? Do you need new windows? Be sure to create a list of what may be involved in your renovation, what type of siding you like, such as James Hardie Siding, Vinyl Siding or Windows, or even LUX Architectural Panels, and which types of contractors you may require.
- Speak with others for their contractor recommendations. In Vancouver, there are hundreds of contractors to choose from, but you only need the right ones. Which ones make the short list? Inquire with friends and family, or even neighbors to see which contractors they recommend from their experiences. You can also give local material wholesalers a call and ask them for recommendations, as their products reputation is intimately tied to the contractors who install them, you are sure to get solid recommendations, and if you have specific products in mind, the manufacturers often have vetted contractors for your local area available on their prospective websites—or even try websites such as Houzz.com, answer some brief questions on your home renovation goals and they will make recommendations based on your goals, budget, and local area. Contractor review platforms help you get an idea of others experiences, and what you may expect when choosing contractors for your short list.
- Reach out to the contractors that you’re interested in.For an idea of how a contractor communicates, give them a call and ask questions regarding your exterior home renovation project, work they have done in the past, and their availability to meet for a free in home consultation. What is their timeline to schedule in your home renovation? If they can fit you in tomorrow, that’s not a great sign, but not necessarily a bad one either. At times, scheduled projects can get postponed or even cancelled due to homeowner funding issues; make sure to get clarification from the contractor as to why they have immediate availability to start the project. Pressure to close a deal is definitely a red flag. Review the quality of the contractors previous jobs, and search for reviews from former homeowners. Pictures and reviews are easily found online with a quick search of the contractors business name.
- Acquire a minimum three quotes from reputable contractors.It is important to maintain an “Apples to Apples” process in order to get an accurate comparison of the collected estimates. Using the KISS technique (Keep it simple, stupid) Use the lowest common denominator, for example, with home exterior renovations maintain a base scope of work such as demo, wall preparation, siding and soffit type and profile, as the quotes baseline and keep it precisely the same for each contractor. They can then add their specific options and ideas as separate upgrade line items. Often times, contractors will compile their ideas into their single quoted price, making it impossible to compare competing quotes as they’re all markedly different. Insist on keeping the same parameters for all those submitting a price. You should expect a detailed summary of the work to be performed. When reviewing your provided exterior home renovation estimates, keep in mind that the lowest valued quote isn’t necessarily your best option. Often times, the lowest price, isn’t the final price, and is used as an illusion to get the job, and ambiguous extras added throughout the project.
- Follow up on references. First impressions are important, but not everything! Have your contractor provide you with a short list of references, and make sure to take the time to contact them about their experience. This will help give you the final boost of confidence in making the right choice for your home renovation project.
Large exterior home renovations don’t have to be stressful, slow and steady wins the race!