How to Find the Right Remodeling Contractor

by Matt Solis


A remodeling and additions contractor can update your living space to accommodate your needs, but how can you find the contractor that’s right for you?


Know What You Want for Your Home Remodeling Project

Many homeowners find that it helps to know the scope of their project and their overarching goals before talking to a local remodeling contractor. By knowing what you want to accomplish, you’re more likely to be happy with the results of your remodeling project. So, before contacting a local remodeling firm, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the problem or challenge I want this remodel or home addition to address? (This could include a growing family, in-laws moving in, updating an older home or turning an unused space into a new family room.)
  2. What specific requirements do I have for the project?
  3. What is my budget?
  4. What professional characteristics and personal qualities am I looking for in a remodeling contractor?
  5. Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee? 


Naturally, it’s also good to have a clear idea of what type of project you want. For example, do you want to add a bathroom, put a room over your garage, or build a second story on or under your home? Do you want to remodel your kitchen or turn your basement into a living space? Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you choose a contractor that’s experienced in that particular area of the industry.

Most remodeling and home addition contractors have experience with many home remodeling services, including:

  • Home additions
  • Bathroom remodeling
  • Kitchen remodeling
  • Second-story additions
  • New room additions
  • Garage additions
  • Bedroom additions
  • Kitchen expansions
  • Basement remodeling/renovations
  • Sunroom additions
  • Attic remodeling/renovations
  • Family room additions
  • Custom remodeling plans
  • Old house renovations

Experienced remodeling contractors are more likely to give accurate bids, create unique remodeling and addition plans, do a professional job, and complete the project on time. So, confirm that the contractor you’re considering has successfully completed several projects that are similar to yours. Ask to see photos or even visit recent jobsites to check the quality of their work.


Researching Local Remodeling and Addition Contractors

In addition to utilizing the Diamond Certified Resource, you can improve your chances of hiring a quality remodeling contractor by researching potential candidates. First, look them up on the Contractors State License Board’s website to ensure they have an active license and workers’ compensation insurance. Violations will also appear on their license record, so you’ll know about recent infractions or serious customer grievances that have been processed by the state. Then, take time to verify company credentials. Remodelers who are members of local and national building associations may offer better service, and you’ll be able to see their past records, including complaints and legal action.

Remember, you’ll probably spend weeks or months dealing with the contractor you choose, depending on what you’re having done. As with any working relationship, it’s important to consider the personal and professional qualities you value in a remodeling contractor. Promptness, good communication skills, honesty and cleanliness are important to many people, so decide what traits you want in the remodeling contractor you hire and don’t settle for less.

Be aware that with some remodeling companies, the estimator you first deal with might not be part of the construction crew. That means there’s a chance the relationship you’ve built with them and the agreements you’ve made might not carry through to the rest of the job. If you’ve been talking with a local remodeling contractor, you may want to confirm who will be your contact during the project and how they can guarantee the promises made during the planning process will be kept by the building crew.


The Next Step: Making Contact

Now that you’ve done some initial research and have a clear idea of what you want in a remodeling contractor, talk to a few companies in your area. Remember that many companies won’t provide estimates over the phone, but don’t feel obligated to set an appointment for an in-home estimate if you weren’t impressed with your initial contact with the company. If the contractors you’ve talked with don’t meet your expectations or can’t answer your questions, end the conversation and move on to the next contractor on your list.

Learn more about interviewing local remodeling contractors