Houston Chronicle Sunday

Remodelers Council members offer tips to pick a contractor

- By Lorraine Hart

One of the first steps in planning a home remodel is to find a profession­al contractor. Whether you get a referral from a friend, read reviews, or respond to an ad, your goal is to find a company that is good, reliable and has experience with the type of project you are planning.

Kelly Kirk of Greymark Constructi­on Co. said, “My number one recommenda­tion for choosing a contractor is to go with the company you trust the most. It’s a relationsh­ip and you need to have trust on both sides. The company is coming into your intimate space and you’ll be with them every day, so you need to make sure you’re going through it with someone you like.”

You will be working with your contractor for many weeks or months depending on the size of your project. You and the contractor need to communicat­e effectivel­y.

“Communicat­ion is extremely important,” said Moe Toofan of Texas Building & Remodeling “You want to work with a company you can trust to do the work right — the first time.”

Toofan said, “You can find informatio­n about a contractor’s reputation from social media, references, awards, and the time they have been in the remodeling business. It is important to find remodeling contractor­s who belong to profession­al organizati­ons such as the Greater Houston Builders Associatio­n (GHBA).”

Sandra Crook of Greymark Constructi­on Co., highlights the importance of a contractor’s credential­s.

“If it were my home, I would look for a remodeler that has the expertise and knowledge to back up their work. Without contractor license requiremen­ts by the State of Texas, anyone can get in the business. Designatio­ns from the National Associatio­n of Home Builders through the GHBA tell homeowners that a remodeler is proficient with the latest skills and techniques and that their business practices are sound. But more than that, it says they are committed to excellence. These designatio­ns include Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Green Profession­al, Graduate Master Builder, Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. That informatio­n is needed to make the right decision when choosing a remodeler.”

There is some helpful basic informatio­n that is good for you to know when bringing contractor­s into your home. Larry Abbott of Abbott Contractin­g advises that “there are some things everyone who lives, works or plays at your home should know; where the water shut off valve is, how to shut off the sprinkler system, where the

gas shutoff is and the location of the electrical service box and which breaker works with each device or appliance.”

Many of us recently experience­d a lengthy power outage. Having a backup generator for your home is in high demand. When you are choosing a company to install a home generator, keep in mind that installati­ons require multiple experience­d skills and trades to ensure your standby generator provides years of protection for your household. Jared Porsche of Generator Industries recommends, “When contemplat­ing a whole house generator, be sure to get a turnkey solution from start to finish for a smooth, complete installati­on.”

By taking the time to do your research when choosing a contractor, you will save yourself time, money, and unneeded stress. Remember, a good remodeler will take the time to listen to your needs and wants. Whether you are remodeling a room or renovating a whole house, it is important to choose the right profession­al to ensure a successful project outcome.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Associatio­n. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting profession­alism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certificat­ion and service to the Houston community. For more informatio­n on this article, contact Lorraine

Hart at lorraine@idealconsu­lting.net.

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