Wondering where to start with your renovation? Here are some tips for how the process works:
Contact a few contractors to set up a quote. If you're going to spend the money on a renovation, you want to make sure you hire someone licensed, insured, and reputable. Make sure you can see pictures of finished projects, ask for Client references, and copies of their licensure and insurance. Check their licensure type and status on the WV Contractor Board website (here--> Contractor Search (wvlabor.com) After all, you don't want to hire someone to do your 2nd story deck if they're only licensed in drywall and paint.
You have multiple bids. Now what? One is drastically cheaper than the rest? Maybe you got lucky, or maybe you should keep reading. All contractors are not created equal.
Your friend knows a guy for cheap? Your ex from high school is doing some handyman stuff on the side? If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. *FAKE CONTRACTOR ALERT*
The typical scenario...
Congratulations! You picked a contractor that was way cheaper than the rest and he can start tomorrow. You found him with an ISO post on Facebook Yard Sale after searching through 37 posts from people who are obviously desperate for work. They also write whole paragraphs as single sentences and say "remolding" instead of remodeling, but that doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing, right?
They are most likely not licensed or insured, not paying taxes, and are paying their workers cash by the job. If they get hurt working at your home, then it's on your home owner's insurance since they're running a fake biz. If they cause a major 2nd story plumbing leak and ruin your entire downstairs? That's on you too. They'll probably be gone with the wind, never to be heard of again. Until they file bankruptcy and open under a new name across the border in Ohio. I bet you're cringing by now. Ya can't be a fake doctor, engineer, or lawyer, but by-God you can be a fake contractor. Remember: Friends don't let friends hire "contractors" from Facebook Yard Sale.
Licensure types: Some license types are tags that can be purchased, without any testing involved. If you're doing a major renovation, you want to hire a General Contractor. This is the the highest building licensure and requires multiple exams to obtain. It includes the ability to work on any residential or commercial property. Matt holds a General Contractor license.
When you meet with your Contractor:
Have an idea of your style. We want to give you a space you'll love for years to come. We recommend finding pictures on Pinterest of spaces you like. This way, we can tailor a design just for you and your style. Sometimes, Clients come to us knowing exactly what they want. It's alright if you don't know exactly what you want. Just have an idea of what you like.
Have an idea of budget. This may be the most important thing, because everything else rides on it. We can't give you champagne on a natty light budget.
How will you be using the space? We want your space to be functional AND beautiful.
Have an idea of your timeline. We realize time is of the essence. Unfortunately, most reputable contractors have a waiting list. If someone says they're immediately available for a major reno, maybe you got lucky, or you may need to refer to the *FAKE CONTRACTOR ALERT* paragraph above.
Construction is NOT a perfect world. I always tell Matt that he's the eye of the construction shit storm. However, our Clients are always #1 and we do whatever we can to go above and beyond. Maybe we're biased, but you truly won't find a more honest construction company.