Billings, Montana Home Remodeling Resources

Deciding to undertake a home remodeling project may seem quite overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through the process before. You likely have questions about how to get it started, the right way to plan it and how to manage all of the pieces involved. That’s why we’re providing these resources to help you make your project as easy as possible.

How to Choose a Contractor

You’ve been thinking about remodeling or building for a while and are finally ready to move to the next step and hire a building professional to help you complete the plans in your head. Now what? How do find that company that fits your goals and dreams?

What are you looking for?

  1. Are you looking for a team approach where your contractor is an advisor and part of the design team or are you looking for someone to bid on plans you have?
  2. Is schedule important or are you in no big hurry? How soon do you need to start? Are there any key dates completion needs to be done by (wedding, reunion, vacation, etc.)?
  3. How important is budget? Do you have a budget in mind? Are you looking for the lowest price or the best value?
  4. How important is quality? Do you want perfection or “good”, good enough?
  5. What about disruption to your life? How important is safety, security and cleanliness during the construction process?

These are just a sampling of questions you need to have an idea of before interviewing potential candidates.

Where do you find potential contractors?

Once you have an idea of specific items that will be valuable to you, how do you find that contractor that can fulfill all of the qualities you desire?

The first step is to talk to your trusted friends and family members, those closest to you whose opinions you value the most. These people typically know someone, or know someone who knows someone, they can refer you to. If that doesn’t work, an internet search of contractors in your area should give you an opportunity to check on the professionalism of prospects. Your local Homebuilders Association will also have a list of active members and contact info.

How do you select a contractor?

Now that you’ve found prospects, the best way to determine who to work with is to set up an interview with each contractor at your property.

  1. Start by noticing what time they show up for the meeting. If the contractor is late for your first meeting, chances are good that he’ll be tardy later when its more crucial to you to get finished.
  2. Notice how much the contractor pays attention to you during conversation. If you have problems communicating early on, it may lead to strained relationships later when the pressure is on.
  3. Ask about experience with projects similar to the one that you are considering. How many has the contractor completed and how recently? Do they specialize in a certain type of work?
  4. Find out if the contractor has all necessary insurance coverage. The contractor should be able to show a certificate to prove they carry liability insurance in case they cause damage to your home during construction. They should also have Worker’s Compensation insurance and be registered with the State of Montana.
  5. Ask for a list of references and phone numbers, then CALL THE REFERENCES. Don’t just assume the references are real. Ask the reference about workmanship quality, communication and timeliness.
  6. Discuss changes in the work and how they will be handled. Reputable contractors will write down change orders and make sure both parties sign and agree to the parameters of the change.
  7. Require a written schedule so you’re not left guessing.

You will be entrusting your house and living with them for several weeks, so make sure you and your home will be respected. In the end, trust is the most critical element. Find a contractor that you can trust and you’ll be ahead of the game.