Is Your Home Renovator the Real Deal?

The average homeowner, when paying a professional to renovate multiple rooms in their home, spends between $20,000 and $60,000. When you consider the fact that the average home value in the United States is $186,000, the cost of renovating multiple rooms in the home is typically over 20% of the home’s entire market value.

In other words, home renovation is a big deal. It represents one of the most important investments that you a homeowner can make.

The challenge is basically two-fold. You want to invest in a way that makes your home more livable and enjoyable while you’re in it—but you really want your renovations to hold value and pay off down the road, whether or not you have any intention to put your home on the market in the near future.

In order to achieve the results you want, careful planning is key. What areas of your home will benefit most from renovations? What types of renovations are homeowners typically happy with, and what might be cause for regret? Finding answers to these questions is an important step on the path to a successful and profitable renovation process.

But there’s one factor that’s even more important: The home renovation contractor you work with. After all, you can select the perfect renovations for your home and plan them with total precision—but if the execution isn’t right, your results will leave something to be desired, both financially and aesthetically. There’s also the possibility of a contractor running behind schedule and over budget—or even cutting corners and using dishonest fee structures. These are all possibilities that will take away from the success of your renovation investments, and you want to avoid them at all costs.

So how do you ascertain the reputability, skill level, honest and experience of a contractor before you make this very important decision? There are a few important factors to keep in mind.

First, always look for contractors that leave plenty of positive feedback in their wake. When people are extremely happy with their renovations (not only the final results, but the process of getting there), they’ll usually write something about it. Public review sites like Yelp! and Google+ are always worth a look. Word-of-mouth reviews are also useful—and if you know someone in your area who’s had renovations lately, it’s a good idea to get their perspective.

Second, pay attention to the professionalism of the contractor in question. That goes for web sites, emails, phone calls, on-site visits, or any other point of contact. Contractors should have a business location, friendly support staff, all the proper licensing and insurance for operating in your area, and affiliations with reputable organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). These are all signs that a contractor works in an organized and professional way, and if this is true for the administrative side of things, it’s more likely to be true when it comes to the actual skill and craftsmanship of your home renovation.

Third, carefully gauge how the contractor interacts with you when you reach out and make contact. Do they take their time with you? Are they happy to answer your questions and discuss your project in a focused and relaxed way? Or do the appear disinterested and hurried, anxious to get on to the next thing? Again, these factors signify how a given home renovation specialist will tackle the renovation work itself. That’s why it’s important to factor them into your decision.

Remember—when it comes to home renovation specialists who will truly put your renovation dollars to work, finding the “real deal” means finding the complete package.

Good luck with your renovation plans! Feel free to leave questions or comments below.