Did you know that 96 percent of contractors go out of business in the first 5 years according to Qualified Remodeler Magazine? And 50 percent of those operations are actually out of business in the first 2 years? No wonder we’ve all heard of the remodeling horror stories.
Now this might be something you’ve experienced or something you’ve only heard about, but these nightmare occurrences do happen. Regularly and frequently. It’s the reason you need to do your homework and determine what company is going to work best for your needs. When searching for a residential contractor you should look into a firm’s reputation, longevity, licenses, insurance and labor resources.
Reputation: If you’ve remodeled before, you know that construction can have its hiccups. But its how your contractor handles them and communicates issues to you, so ask for referrals. Reach out to the company’s past clients and listen how their experience was. Did the project finish on-time? Did the working crews keep your home clean throughout the process? Was the staff professional and friendly? Once you start construction you’re at the mercy of your contractor, so make sure you trust the people on your project and in your home.
Longevity: It’s an unfortunate fact, but 96 percent of contractors do close up shop in the first five years of business. It may not seem like a huge deal to you as a homeowner, but it should. What happens when you have an issue with your remodel in three years? Who’s going to come fix it? Warranties should be considered an important factor in determining who you want to work with. California only requires contractors to give clients a one year warranty on their work – here at Sea Pointe we offer a five year warranty. We can do this because we believe in our work and after 28 years in business we stand behind every project we produce.
Licenses: There are about 300,000 licenses contractors in the state of California in 43 different licensing classifications. Do you really want a plumbing contractor touching your electrical panel? In the fiscal year 2012-2013 the California State License Board helped recover nearly $44 million in ordered restitution for consumers – that’s $44 million dollars’ worth of mistakes made by contractors that were not properly licensed. Make sure the contractors you have working in your home are licensed by checking at www.cslb.ca.gov.
Insurance: Asking your potential contractor what type of insurance they carry should be considered a requirement. If they don’t have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance and something happens on your jobsite, guess who will be responsible? You. Your regular homeowners insurance will more than likely not cover construction incidents. Protect yourself, but asking your contractor the right questions.
Labor Resources: If you could save $1,000 on your kitchen remodel, but it would take 6 months to build it, would you do it? You would probably end up spending that amount of money in take-out food during the process! It’s critical that you make sure your contractor has the support staff needed to make sure the scheduling of your project is as smooth as possible and the length of time that you are in construction is as minimal as possible. If your contractor is working with sub-contractors, make sure each sub-contractor is vetted with supporting insurance, appropriate licenses and referrals.
Home remodeling is a huge investment. Spend some time upfront to make sure you’re working with a reliable and reputable contractor. Whether it’s a Design/Build firm like Sea Pointe Construction, or a general contractor, let us know if we can help answer any questions for you to help figure out what fit will be the best for you, your family and your home.