Milton Ma: How to Find the Right Remodeling Professional

Tips to help save your big investment
Before you dive into a major home remodel, however, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) reminds homeowners to take a close look at the contractor they plan to hire for the job.Almar Building & Remodeling President Terrance F Quinn, CS, CGR, CAPS, VSI., is a remodeling veteran with Terry Quinn, Licensed Contractor, Hanover Mamore than 47 years’ of experience who says homeowners need to ask the right questions before committing to a contractor. As a professional remodelerhas made it his job to inform consumers about what to look for before signing on the dotted line.“Homeowners are always looking at the bottom line, but they should be aware of what it represents,” he says. “Many homeowners have 60 percent or more of their net worth invested in their homes, so a remodeler can be responsible for half of someone’s physical existence.”That’s a big responsibility. Quinn recommends that homeowners do their homework by asking the right questions. The goal is to find out whether the remodeler has a track record of happy customers, if he or she will communicate with you openly, work on a realistic time schedule and within your budget. Here are some things to keep in mind:

What type of contractor do I need? Deciding which type of professional to hire will depend onDesign Build Contractor, Hanover, Mass

the size and scope of your project. A general remodeling contractor works on a variety of home projects that either does not require professional design services, or design services are outsourced.

A design/build contractor, on the other hand, provides both quality design and construction services within the same company. They will oversee a project from start to finish, keeping design, budget and engineering in mind. (A Design/Build contractor can also be a General Contractor)

Another option is to work with an architect to help you create plans and drawings. For remodels, it’s important to work with an architect who has done remodeling work in the past because they will be sensitive to the challenges existing structures may represent.

Check references Ask the contractor how long they have been in business and request the names and numbers of references. Also, look at photos of completed work to determine the quality, fit and finish of installations.

Insurance is important Inquire about the contractor’s certification insurance and request to see a copy, or get the name of the insurance agency, to verify coverage. Massachusetts require that contractors carry property damage, personal liability and worker’s compensation insurance, but don’t assume a contractor has it.

Shop for honesty and professionalism Choose a remodeler who is communicative and straight

forward. Quinn says he provided client with a new client kit which includes all of Almar’s contact information for each team member, how to prepare for the project, commonly asked questions, details about the client’s specific project and much more.

How do I compare estimates? Make sure that each contractor provides a quote for the same

scope and level of quality for the work. Beware of bids that are much lower than others. Quinn says “Unless the quotes are written and detailed out you can never assume contractors are estimating the same project for you. You also need to be aware when trying to compare types of contractors to each other, if one is a professional business with an office, staff, and history and the other is not – what could that mean for you short and long term.”

Trust in the professionals Lastly, once you’ve decided on a plan and the contractor, let

them do their job. Too much micromanaging or design changes can take additional

time and ultimately cut into your bottom line, Quinn says.

Certified remodNARI Remodeler, Hanover Maelers with NARI Some NARI members are also certified; NARI certification is a challenging process that requires a contractor have extensive knowledge of the industry and a commitment to professional conduct. Contractors who are certified by NARI have received an acceptable review by the NARI Certification Board by providing an outline of their hands-on experience, training, education, technical skills and practices in business management. They are committed to staying current with industry issues, and have successfully completed a rigorous written exam, which includes questions about business management, building codes, construction law, specification, safe use of tools and equipment, safety standards, math and other special skills.

Remodeling your home can be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Homeowners can gain a sense of security knowing they’ve done their homework before choosing a remodeling professional.

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About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. The Association which represents more than 8,200 member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™ To locate a local NARI chapter or a remodeling

professional, visit NARI’s Web site at www.nariremodelers.com, or contact the national headquarters, based in Des Plaines, Illinois, at 800-611-NARI.

Almar (781-826-2577) is proud to be a member of NARI and is committed to uphold the

standards that all NARI members represent. Almar’s entire team is ready to work with homeowners from all over the south shore of Massachusetts like Hanover, Pembroke, Hingham, Norwell, Scituate, and Cohasset. As a full service Design/Build remodeler Almar can handle all phases of remodeling: Additions, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Basements, and Sunroom projects.