Selecting the right contractor is critical. A good contractor will be able to handle the entire project, complete it on time, and do it all at a fair price. A great contractor will do all of that and communicate well, making your project a happy experience. Check out our video on this: Three Keys for a Successful Renovation Project.
Here are some tips for selecting a great contractor:
- Ask people you know — word of mouth referrals are best.
- There are a number of popular sites that can help, like Angi and HomeAdvisor
- Expect a process: calling them, talking, telling them about your project is just the beginning. They’ll need to come out to the house (sometimes more than once) and then have time to put together a thorough estimate. You may go back and forth a bit to come up with a final scope of work. This can take anywhere from a few days for a simple project to several weeks for larger projects.
- Collect references and contact them to ask about their experience. A good contractor should be able to give 2-3 recent clients who were happy with their work.
- Every contractor has their own payment plan, and each renovation loan has its own plan as well. It’s important to get on the same page before the project begins. Once you have a contractor, we’ll want to talk with them early in the process to make sure they are okay with our specific draw process.
Types of contractors
Contractors fall into a few basic categories. Some can do it all, but most have a sweet spot/range that fits best for them:
- Basic: One or a few easy items like a roof, furnace, electrical upgrade—relatively simple stuff. These contractors are great for quick/simple projects. They can be jack-of-all-trade or specific to the task at hand, like an electrician, HVAC company or roofers.
- Remodeling: Best for more complex projects where the project involves a combination of trades, such as new kitchens, bathrooms, or flooring—almost anything interior/exterior that is not structural. Most contractors fall into this category at some level.
- Major Renovation: Complex projects with major renovations: Structural work, complete gut & remodels, replacing major systems (plumbing/HVAC), etc.—big stuff. Make sure they have the relevant experience, size of team and bandwidth to handle your project well and finish in a timely manner.
Borrowers are required to select their own contractors, subject to a simple validation process. If you don’t have a contractor and need help with a list of people to check with, we can share a list of previously-validated contractors that may be helpful when the time comes to gather estimates for your project. Contact us for assistance with finding a contractor. Note: PrimeLending does not approve of or recommend specific contractors.
All borrowers are required to conduct their own due diligence when selecting their builder or contractor, as any home owner would expect to do. Standard documentation will be collected for payment purposes, but PrimeLending does not warrant the craftsmanship or quality of the selected contractor. For some loan products, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Ikea and Menard’s may be a good fit. Contact your local branch for more information.