A checklist to hiring the best remodeling contractor.

We aim to answer basic questions about remodeling your home from the contractors point of view.

  1. Any remodeling project will add value to my house.

That is not always true. In fact, there are many reliable national statistics showing accurate Return On Investment for specific projects. For example, according to Remodeling 2018 Cost v.s. Value Report www.costvsvalue.com Regional Portland data shows that if you spend $20,161 on a midrange bathroom remodel the resale value is $16,154. That means that the cost recouped is 80.1%. Compared to 70.1% in 2018 National averages for midrange bathroom remodel.

Or if the job cost on a midrange siding replacement project is $15,577 the resale value is $15,344. The cost Recouped equals 98.5%

(Static data belongs to © Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com)

  1. How long will it take to remodel?

Many people watch TV remodeling shows that often display inaccurate project duration and project costs. Each project is unique because there are many factors that affect the project duration and final costs. Some of the factors are prep-work, square footage, permit processing, availability of the contractor for a specific project. Also, when remodeling older homes, it is not uncommon to encounter old pipes or electrical wiring that needs to be replaced. We can give you an idea of how long certain remodeling projects take to complete. For example, most full hall bath remodels that we work on in Portland and Vancouver are 1-2 weeks. Full kitchen remodels are usually 4-5 weeks with a scope of work that includes demolition, prep-work, sheetrock and wall finish, appliance installation, electrical fixtures and switches, cabinets, countertops, tile backsplash, plumbing fixtures, flooring installation. There is a sequence of events for each installation, for example, you can’t install a freestanding vanity on a bath floor before it is tiled and grouted and after the vanity is installed only then you may install the counter-top, sink, and backsplash.

Knowing your exact project duration is very important when planning for your remodeling project.

Contact a highly rated remodeling contractor to get an exact time frame and costs for your remodeling project in Portland and Vancouver.

  1. Get 3 Estimates for your project.

We recommend you get as many estimates as necessary to meet as much of the qualifying criteria as possible. When comparing estimates search for the following qualities in your remodeling contractor.

  • Experience and Knowledge

You can usually understand this when he describes his approach and whether he provides knowledgeable facts, ideas, and solutions for your project. So, you can make an educated approach to your remodel.

  • Contractors Price

Make sure that the price is in conformance with his experience, knowledge, and level of product finish. You might get 2 estimates with the same project cost, but one assumes better materials for a long lasting quality finish. Generally, if you choose a contractor that is very experienced you will pay more but expect to see better results. When comparing estimates make sure you consider price, level of finish, level of experience to make your final decision.

  • Make sure he is pleasant to work with.

Although most of us are not psychologists though we all have the gut feeling and generally it is accurate. When speaking to the contractor you will be able to determine whether the person is serious, kind, honest and respectful. Don’t be shy to ask him questions to better understand him. Most serious contractors are interested in a relationship with their clients and you should be looking to do the same with your contractor. 

  1. Stay away from greedy people.

People come with different personalities and contractors are no exception. Greedy people will generally have an approach with cutting corners or using cheaper materials and in the unfortunate case when you both will disagree on something; he will be unlikely to meet in the middle.

  1. Make sure you get more bang for your buck.

A great example of this is can be a contractor that has a strong sense of design versus a contractor that just takes care of the installation of a particular product. The remodeling contractor with a strong sense of design will help you determine different layout or finish options and help you implement them into your project. Instead of hiring a designer and paying hundreds of dollars extra you should choose a design-build contractor to take care of your remodeling project.

  1. Licensed, Bonded and Insured.

Make sure the contractor you are considering to hire is licensed, bonded and insured in your state. A license is required to do any type of skilled labor on a structure or a property. A bond is a type of insurance that protects the homeowner. A bond can provide compensation to the property owner if the contractor fails to complete the project as contracted.

  1. Attentive to your Ideas and Concerns.

Make sure your remodeling contractor listens to your ideas and concerns. The end result of your project should be what you want and not what the contractor wants. A dependable contractor will spend a considerable length of time to understand your needs, ideas, and concerns in order to meet project goals.

  1. Contractor Reputation and Reviews.

Read online reviews before you make your final decisions on hiring the contractor. Online reviews have very valuable information about the contractor because people describe the overall experience with the contractor.

Ask the contractor where most of his business is coming from. A reputable home remodeling contractor will have a lot of business coming from repeat or referred customers. If a contractor has a good quality track record and a list of satisfied customer reviews then it is very likely that you will be satisfied too. Russ Construction & Remodeling has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 5-star rating with Google.

  1. High-Pressure Sales Tactics

You should never be pressured to make a decision especially prematurely. Some contractors use “high-pressure sales tactics” when they present their bid for your remodeling project. If the contractor is pressuring you into making a decision; most likely he is more interested in the sale rather than meeting your goals for the project. If you experience these kinds of tactics; our recommendation is to look for another contractor.

  1. Unreasonable Project Allowances.

Be aware of contractors with unreasonable material allowances. For example, if your bathroom remodel requires a freestanding tub then the estimate should include at least a starting price point for a freestanding tub which is about $700 while most will be around $1000-$1500. Alcove tubs cost as low as $175 in Home Depot. Cutting hundreds of dollars on material allowance will make the initial estimate price more attractive but the final project will cost you more because you most likely are not going to choose the cheapest material selection but should rather aim to be mid-range or better for your project. At Russ Construction & Remodeling we spend a considerable length of time listening to homeowners needs and tailor the project cost to include the exact material selection. By doing this we offer the homeowner an accurate project for your final cost so you can make precise budget decisions.