It’s not only the what—but the who—when it comes to a successful renovation project.
1. Make sure your pros are legit
Ask any potential contractor for their license number, bond number and certification, and insurance certificates. And look for companies that have set themselves up as businesses—in many states, that means they should be registered with a state business office. You can usually check online or with a phone call.
2. Make sure they’re reputable
Use resources like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to check reviews, and call references. When reading customer reviews, don’t think one bad comment is representative, but if you notice a trend with negative feedback, you may want to search for an alternative.
3. Remember, you’re the boss
Your general contractor and everyone else on site work for you, so don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and review portfolios. Ensure that they want the job done right, not just quickly, so you can rely on them to come back to fix any issues down the road.
4. Enable clear communication
Everyone working in your home needs to keep you informed of the time line and any issues that could impact it; you need to keep them in the loop if any plans change. Be very clear on expectations and standards before you commit to hiring. And don’t wait until the project is done to bring up issues you see.
Thinking about DIY-ing it?
We’re always fans of making a space your own, and there are lots of DIY opportunities in any renovation: painting, shelving, decorating, and more. But some projects require special training and skills (not to mention tools) and are better left to a professional for the sake of budget and sanity. A simple rule of thumb: If you need a permit for it—and if it’s electrical, structural, or plumbing, you almost certainly will—hire a professional. (And make sure they pull the right permits!) This protects you from potential costly violations and protects your home’s value if you sell later.
By Drew + Jonathan | Photograph courtesy of HGTV