How do you prepare to meet with a contractor?

Based on telephone interviews, choose three or four contractors to meet for quotes and further discussion. A contractor must be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a way that reassures you. Tom says it's crucial that the two of you communicate well because this person will be in your house for hours at a time. On the other hand, don't let personality fool you.

Check with your state's consumer protection agency and your local better business bureau before hiring a contractor to make sure they don't have a history of disputes with customers or subcontractors. As you begin to schedule visits and solicit bids, here are some ways to prepare for a successful meeting with potential general contractors. Once you are sure that all of the contractors you will be meeting with have been thoroughly vetted and are properly licensed, Sweeten is a matchmaking service that already does this for you. Before going to a meeting with a contractor, it's imperative that you have a budget before seeking a professional's opinion.

The initial contractor meeting usually takes place at least a week before construction begins and sets the framework for the remodeling process. You can also talk to a building inspector, who will know which home renovation contractors routinely meet the code requirements, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, or visit your local sawmill, who sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay bills on time. Before meeting with a project consultant, it's helpful to have an idea of the budget you need to work with for your remodeling project. Whether your remodeling plans are basic or extensive, start by preparing a comprehensive list to effectively identify your needs, challenges, desired materials, etc.

When you have a meeting scheduled with a contractor, make sure you do your homework well and have all your questions prepared. Before meeting with a remodeling contractor, make a list of major and minor issues you have with the current space. If this is your first major remodeling project, meeting with an experienced contractor can be intimidating.

Roberta Burgees
Roberta Burgees

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