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Part 4 | Tips: To Narrow the Field: “Trust But Verify”

In the previous blog (part 3 of the series), we talked about the questions you should be asking  at your first meetings with your selected remodeling companies. Once you narrow that field down you may want to suggest a second meeting with your preferred candidates to discuss your project in greater detail. Second meetings provide an important chance to ask those questions you overlooked in your first meeting, plus the key questions that will enable you to identify the remodeler you'll move forward with.

Below are some steps to objectively verify your candidates' business representations. Among them are several items you should address during your second meetings if you didn't during your first.

  • The business should be licensed. You can verify if a company is licensed in the state of Minnesota by checking with Minnesota Department and Labor.
  • Obtain proof of insurance. The remodeler should supply you with a Certificate of Insurance indicating the company has sufficient general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, the remodeler should have coverage against theft of any materials delivered to the jobsite but not yet installed.
  • Ask the remodeler for a list of the suppliers and trade contractors he or she works with regularly. Contact a company from this list to confirm the remodeler manages his or her business responsibly, paying trade contractors and suppliers on time, and that the business has a good reputation in the building community.
  • Call the Better Business Bureau and your local consumer affairs office to check the company for consumer complaints. Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) are nonprofit organizations supported primarily by local businesses. They encourage honest advertising and selling practices and keep records of consumer complaints.

Although you are encouraged to check your candidates' records please remember that just as there are unreliable remodelers in business, there are also unreasonable homeowners. Even an excellent remodeler can receive a complaint.  If a favorite candidate has a complaint, ask for information about its resolution.  If the remodeler addressed it quickly and to the client's satisfaction, that action is a sign of professionalism.

City, county, and state consumer protection offices may provide consumers with additional information. Consumer protection offices often receive complaints from dissatisfied homeowners regarding poor construction work. These offices investigate those complaints and if necessary prosecute offenders.

Now that your research is complete, it is time to choose your remodeler! In our 5th and final series we will talk about making your choice!


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