Nari

Having a Home Remodeled? NARI Offers Tips for a Homeowner to Stay on Top of a Home-Improvement Project. The first step to take is pre-planning, which can be started by making two lists about the room that you want to remodel: Things that you like and things that you dislike. Then, write out: Features you […]

Recommendation

According to NARI of Idaho, these are some warning signs to watch out for while interviewing your remodeler

Avoid remodelers at all costs when:

  • You can’t verify the name, address, telephone number or credentials of the remodeler.
  • The salesperson tries to pressure you into signing a contract.
  • The company or salesperson says your home will be used for advertising purposes so you will be given a “special, low rate.”
  • The builder/remodeler tells you a special price is available only if you sign the contract “today.”
  • No references are furnished.
  • Information you receive from the contractor is out-of-date or no longer valid.
  • You are unable to verify the license or insurance information.
  • You are asked to pay for the entire job in advance, or to pay in cash to a salesperson instead of by check or money order to the company itself.
  • The company cannot be found in the telephone book, is not listed with the local Better Business Bureau, or with a local trade association, such as NARI.
  • The contractor does not offer, inform or extend notice of your right to cancel the contract within three days. Notification in writing of your Right of Rescission is required by law. This grace period allows you to change your mind and declare the contract null and void without penalty (if the agreement was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premises-in your home, for instance.)

In addition, be cautious when:

  • You are given vague or reluctant answers.
  • The contractor exhibits poor communication skills or descriptive powers.
  • The contractor is not accessible.
  • Your questions are not answered to your satisfaction.
  • The contractor is impatient and does not listen.
  • Only the work is addressed, instead of your needs as the homeowner.
  • There is no presentation book of previous projects presented.

Questions to Ask References

To protect yourself, always check the contractor’s references. This is an essential stage of qualifying the right person for your project. Here are just a few questions to ask previous customers:

  1. Could they communicate well with the remodeler?
  2. Were they pleased with the quality of work? (This is a tough question, however, since everyone defines “quality” differently. It is much better to ask to see the completed project to determine the level of quality for yourself.)
  3. Were they satisfied with the remodeler’s business practices?
  4. Did the crew show up on time?
  5. Were they comfortable with the trades people the remodeler subcontracted to?
  6. Was the job completed on schedule?
  7. Did the remodeler fulfill his or her contract?
  8. Did the contractor stay in touch throughout the project?
  9. Were the final details finished in a timely manner?
  10. Would you use the remodeler again without hesitation?

Originally from NARI of Idaho website.

Recommendation

Contractor Checklist From NARI

Be sure to look for and be satisfied with these items before signing a contract with a contractor.

  • Was the Contractor/Salesperson on time?
  • Was their appearance neat and professional?
  • Was their vehicle presentable?
  • Did they listen to your ideas, and ask questions?
  • Did they suggest options / alternatives / ideas?
  • Do they have insurance? (Liability & Workman’s comp.)
  • How many years have they been in business?
  • Are they members in any trade or other organizations?
  • Are they certified? (If applicable)
  • Do they have a website for more information?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them?

Download NARI’s PDF version of this checklist here.

From Qualified Remodeler:

RemodelOrMove.com’s U.S. Homeowner Sentiment Report for Spring 2011 reveals that homeowners who are interested in remodeling or expanding their homes have limited options. Of the 5,000 homeowners surveyed, today the average amount of home equity is $106,000 compared to $176,000 in 2009. This trimmed equity is partly due to a reduction in the average home value from $302,000 to $281,000.

If a homeowner moves, the report showed that the new home that meets their needs will cost, on average, $428,000. This is $145,000 more than what they could sell their current home for. On the other hand, the remodel cost estimate is approximately $100,000 to make similar improvements to their existing home. “To remodel or move has always been a difficult decision for homeowners,” says Dan Fritschen, founder RemodelOrMove.com. “This most recent survey reaffirms that both options could cost the homeowner more than $100,000. The calculator on our site can help homeowners to quickly gather information on renovating and moving and then make a recommendation which is best for an individual’s situation.” Fritschen adds that anyone who is considering a move or remodel should work with a real estate agent who can give them three key data points: an accurate estimate of their home’s value, the amount their home could appreciate as the result of a remodel and the price of a different home that would meet their needs.

So, what changes do homeowners want to make if they remodel or move? The Spring 2011 report includes the following data:

  • 57 percent report that they would like to have at least one additional bathroom;
  • 49 percent would like a kitchen renovation;
  • 46 percent are looking for more bedrooms; and
  • 44 percent would like a bathroom remodel.

While home expansion and renovation is on many people’s minds, the majority in the survey reported that they are very satisfied with local schools, their home’s location and neighborhood.  A detailed report is available here.