Renovating your basement is no easy task, and neither is selecting the basement renovation contractor who is going to help. You may have heard horror stories from friends and family in Ottawa about contractors who were inexperienced or who overcharged them and did a terrible job. If you know what to look for in a basement renovation contractor, however, you will be able to find a trustworthy, skilled team that will give you the finished basement of your dreams. Here are five things to keep in mind when looking for a basement renovation contractor:
Experience and Credentials
Do your research before you start your search. Find the credentialing groups that any respectable contractor will have affiliated with. Look up the governing bodies. You should also familiarize yourself with any terms that an experienced contractor is bound to use in conversation. Then, you need to start scouring the internet for information on the group or individual. Are they insured? Do they hold the necessary certifications and credentials? If you call them, do they sound confident? Can they tell you about recent projects? How long have they been in business? This will tell you almost everything you need to know about them.
Never go with the first contractor you meet—not until you have discussed your basement renovation job with others, anyway. What you are looking for when you do this is the contractor with a wide variety of experience, confidence, credentials, and a number of completed projects that portray the extent of their abilities. You might need to look at before and after shots or get some references before getting a clear picture.
Even if you like what you are hearing and want to use a particular contractor for your basement renovation, you need to get everything in writing. The contract should be legally binding, written in an understandable language, and include things like payment schedule, what protocol should be followed if the original agreement is amended, and so on.
One question you should never be afraid to ask is whether the contractor can work within your budget range. Pose the question like so: “My budget is between $X-$Y, but is this realistic? Can you complete the job with this amount?” An honest and qualified basement contractor will let you know exactly what can be done and what the typical cost of your desired renovations are.
Although renovations are bound to take time and contractors should never be rushed if you want to get your money’s worth, you do want to make sure that the renovation is going to be done in a timely manner. When you broach this subject, you really want to hear what the contractor has to say about getting the permits and developing the plans, which can sometimes take a few months. While they will be able to give you a rough estimate during the first consultation, you should expect a more thorough time outline once the project is agreed upon. Now that you know the 5 things to seek out in a renovation contractor, such as credentials, experience, and a willingness to answer your questions, you can go ahead and find the right group.