How To Pick an Exterior House Remodel Contractor

When people think about home remodels, they often think of the interior of a home, forgetting that sometimes the exterior of a home needs some attention, too. While it can be fun to redo kitchens and bathrooms, the exterior of a home is often redone as a part of general upkeep. Anything that is exposed to the elements will need to be replaced over time, and for homeowners that can be a very expensive and daunting task. Thankfully, there are a number of professionals out there that can make it easy to pick an exterior house remodel contractor.

As with any sizable project, exterior home remodeling takes quite a bit of planning. It’s never as easy as picking out colors; you also have to be able to pick out material types for your roofing, siding, and any trim. There are far more options out there than just wood or vinyl, and what you choose for your home will depend on your budget, climate, and desired aesthetic. All of this, of course, takes some research and some basic understanding of what your project will involve, but don’t think you need to have all the answers. You’re hiring an exterior house remodel contractor for a reason, and they should be able and willing to help you make some of the material selection decisions. The goal for you, as the homeowner, is to know just enough to not be duped into buying more than you need, but this is just another reason to make sure you hire someone you can trust.

Blindly selecting an exterior house remodel contractor is never recommended. If you have family and friends who own their own homes, they are the perfect people to ask. Almost every home will need some exterior work done at some time, and you probably know someone who has already hired a contractor for this type of work. Ask around and see what names you get. Be sure to also gather feedback from your loved ones about what they wished they had done differently during their own projects. It’s always easier to learn from someone else’s mistakes than to have to learn through your own.

When you’re equipped with a list of important things to ask, you can start calling the contractors who made the cut. In addition to pricing and schedule questions, make sure you inquire about permits, waste disposal, and potential complications. It’s perfectly normal to ask for job references or to see examples of past work. Any exterior house remodel contractor that balks at giving references or showing past jobs is one you should be wary of. Why don’t they want you to know their work history? Maybe they are afraid their reputation won’t hold up. These things aren’t worth taking a risk on. There are plenty of contractors out there looking for work. If someone seems less than straightforward, move on to the next candidate.

Probably one of the most important things you can ask an exterior house remodel contractor is if they will come out to your home and do an assessment. Sometimes this service is free and other times it carries a charge, but the bottom line is that it allows you a chance to meet the contractor before anyone gets locked into major commitments. Sure, it can be great to find someone who has low fees and seems to have an open schedule, but if he or she comes to your home and doesn’t put you at ease, are you really willing to hire them based on price alone? Maybe you are, but if you have the chance to meet someone in person, you have the chance to get a feel for how they will act as a professional.

An in-person assessment is also a great way to get a very specific estimate. Contractors that can use actual dimensions to work up their job estimates will be able to provide you with the most concise outlook on your project. You can then take all these estimates from different contractors and compare them line by line. Who is charging for what? Are they using different manufacturers? Are there higher markups? Are the labor fees different? Is someone charging for added value services? Know what you are getting and why before you make any commitments.

Finally, be sure to review your contract carefully. In fact, make sure you have a contract to begin with. Contracts protect both the contractor and the homeowner. Any exterior house remodel contractor that wants to do your project without anything in writing should be immediately flagged. What could possibly be the reason they feel comfortable moving forward without anything in writing? Usually the answer means they don’t have the homeowner in mind. All work on your home should be outlined in a contract, including payment details. This holds businesses accountable for what terms they present and limits the chances for contractors to come to you with their hands out looking for more money after you’ve already provided a deposit.

Satisfied with your exterior house remodel contractor? Leave as many positive reviews as you can in as many places as you can. Most construction professionals live on word of mouth, and doing a good job is how they will get more business in the future. Similarly, if you have a negative experience, make sure you document it and report it to the proper agencies. Most areas have a Better Business Bureau, and major complaints can be kept on file at these locations. You want to make sure the next person has the opportunity to know if someone did a good or a poor job. Think of how beneficial it would have been to you, if you had come across someone’s official report before paying a contractor lots of money for an unsatisfactory job.