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Choosing the Right Contractor for Home Remodeling

by Mike Dodd, Home Remodeling Expert
February 11, 2016

Question: We have asked 3 contractors for quotes for our home remodeling project. The numbers vary wildly. How can we decide which one to go with?

Answer: The assumption is that the three contractors have been equally vetted and the playing field is level between them.  By that I mean that the requisite workers compensation and general public liability insurance coverages are valid, that they are all certified with the local municipality that the work will be performed in (and that the appropriate permits will be secured accordingly), and that references have been checked.  It is absolutely incumbent on the consumer to do their homework and make no assumptions about the organizations and/or people that they would allow to work in their most prized (and valuable) possession.

After those qualifiers have been determined, compare the proposals side by side to ensure that the specifications are alike.  Unless written specifications were provided to the bidders by the consumer, there will likely be three different interpretations of the project scope by the contractors.  The physical bid will be an insight into how their businesses are conducted.  If they are detailed and well written, that is certainly a positive.  If a proposal is a one page document that is hand-written on a generic form, that should be a tip-off about the professionalism of an organization that you are about to hire.  The physical appearance and communication skills of the individual you are dealing with speaks volumes about the company he/.she represents as well.

At the end of the day, assuming all else fails, automatically disqualify the lowest bid and evaluate the remaining two....just on principle's sake!  In this industry, you get what you pay for.

Mike Dodd is the founder and President of Lifewise Renovations, that combines home remodeling project management with the expertise of health care professionals, to make it possible live safely and comfortably at home regardless of age or physical ability. As a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Mike holds the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.

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