Home improvement and remodeling contractors are often so busy these days they will only accept new client referrals from someone they have already worked for. Ask friends and neighbors for contractor referrals from someone they trust, but still do your own due diligence.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic era, and even with trade labor shortages, disruptions in the supply chains and skyrocketing prices and shortages in building materials like lumber and metal, demand remains high for help in finding and hiring a reliable and reputable home improvement contractor that is available to take on your home renovation project.
Lumber costs alone have already surged well over 200% in the first four months of 2022, after rising 89.7 percent for the prior year ending April 2021, the biggest 12 month climb in lumbar prices since the figures were first tabulated in 1927.
Helping to support the high demand for remodeling projects, historically low interest rates and higher home equity is providing the resources for home owners to improve their existing homes, according to The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAHB said it expects to see continued growth in the home remodeling field throughout 2022 and into 2023.
So, if you’re planning on remodeling your home’s kitchen or bathroom, or looking to renovate the flooring, plumbing or electrical system in your house, where can you find help locating the best home renovator in your area that’s not too busy to take on your project?
Get a Contractor Referral
Many home remodeling contractors are so busy these days they ONLY take on new clients for home improvement projects with a referral from someone they are already doing business with. Until the strong demand slows, asking for a referral might be the only way you can find a trustworthy contractor in a timely manner, and not an unscrupulous, fly-by-nighter looking to take advantage of unknowing homeowners in busy times like these.
When you ask your friends or neighbors if they can refer a home improvement contractor in your area, ask what part of the project they weren’t happy with, and why. Changes in the budget and project delays during the home renovation are common in the business, but find out if the contractor fully explained any changes to the original project plans, and offered options with materials and costs if any changes were needed.
Does the Remodeler Hire Subcontractors?
Find out who will be doing the actual work. Will the home renovator you hired be hands-on and doing the work himself, or will he be “subbing the job out”, hiring subcontractors to do the majority of work? If so, find out if they use the same sub contractors regularly, or if they hire sub-contractors they are not that very familiar with.
Is the Contractor Licensed?
Many states in the U.S. now require all contractors to be licensed and insured for general liability and even worker’s compensation insurance. Hiring only licensed, professional contractors is important because they will obtain all the necessary building permits and ensure your renovation project is following all local building codes, and you will be protected if anyone is injured or anything is damaged on your property while the renovation is being performed.
Ask your home improvement contractor, and any sub-contractor he uses, for their registered contractor license number and for proof of insurance, and them ask for any credentials if they are part of a professional organization. You can contact your state’s licensing board to verify the status of their license, or you can verify and track insurance of contractors and subcontractors through an insurance tracking program.
Do They Have 'Contractor Connections'?
An experienced, reputable contractor over time will have built up strong relationships with the building material suppliers and subcontractors he uses regularly. This can help drastically in getting your project completed in time by getting the materials to you as quickly as possible and at the best prices, for both building supplies and labor.
Reputation is everything in the home improvement business, so contractors that work for referrals strive to keep their name and reputation in good standing by building up trust, confidence and reliability in their community.