Imagine this: You’re sitting in a new restaurant, glazing over the endless lists of appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks.
Trying something new can be difficult enough, but when you’re trying to compare two items head to head, what’s your strategy?
Do you think about which one has more flavors you enjoy? Are you looking at the simplicity of the ingredients, knowing you want something more elaborate? Do you look at how many calories the meal is?
We’ve all experienced this feeling before, and sometimes, making the right choice is hard. How can you choose the right option to satisfy your needs?
As you’re starting your home remodeling project, you’re deciding between dozens of factors. Finding the right products and the right contractor that fit your budget are just a few top-of-mind qualities you look at when vetting your options.
When comparing multiple companies that offer different products and services, it can be difficult to compare them and choose the right one to meet your needs. What should you look at to find the right contractor for your project?
Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior home remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. We pride ourselves in the care and love we provide for our clients and know that being a trustworthy company is crucial in this industry.
Because we’ve been around for so long, we’ve heard many stories and helped many homeowners who have had a poor experience with a faulty contractor.
No one wants to make the wrong choice when finding a company for their home remodeling project. So…how do you compare different contractors to find the best one for you?
This article will outline five things to compare between different home remodeling companies and questions to consider in each category.
After reading this article, you’ll be able to move forward in comparing your home remodeling contractor options and can choose the best one for you and your project.
What should I look at to accurately compare different home remodeling contractors?
Just as you would compare anything in life, you must know what things to look at to make an accurate and fair choice.
When comparing multiple home remodeling contractors, there are five major things to look at:
Let’s dissect each of these components more to better understand the importance of looking at each of these things and what they mean for your project.
1. Comparing Home Remodeling Contractors
The first thing you want to look at is the company you might potentially work with for your project. One of the most important aspects you want to look at is the company’s longevity.
How long have they been in business locally?
A contractor that has been locally established for many years has more credibility than a company that has only been around a few years.
This is so important to look at because companies that have only been in business for a year or two have not built a name for themselves yet. It is a gamble to trust a new company with your business, especially in the home remodeling industry.
With this, another thing to consider is the warranty on your products. If a newer company ends up going out of business soon after you work with them, you have no warranty on your products. So, why take a risk with a newer contractor than choose one that has been around for decades?
Aside from the company’s longevity, you also want to look at their online presence and reviews.
What does their website look like?
Do they have a good social media presence?
What kind of reviews do they have?
Looking at a company’s online presence will tell you a lot. If you can’t find a company’s website, phone number, or any information on them, this is a red flag.
Overall, ask yourself how that contractor makes you feel. If you’ve met with them, did they take your needs into consideration, or did they only talk about themselves? Did they guide you to the best decision for you or push you to one product?
Whether or not you trust a contractor and feel cared for by them is the first and most important thing to consider when comparing companies.
2. Comparing Product Specifications
The second thing to consider when comparing contractors is the products they offer. Of course, you need to work with a company that offers the right products to fit your needs.
Finding the right products for you is just as difficult as finding the right contractor. There are many product specifications you must consider to find the right product for you.
No matter what type of home remodeling project you’re looking to do, consider these questions to help find the right product type for you:
What do you want the product to look like?
What do you want it to be made of?
How durable do you want it to be?
How do you want the product to perform?
How long do you want it to last?
How much are you looking to pay for the products?
After you know what type of products you want, you must find a contractor that offers what you’re looking for.
When comparing companies, look at the products they offer, their material and performance, and the design options available.
You want your new products to give you a look you want. So, if one contractor does not offer a product that will fit your needs in this area, you will probably want to consider a different company.
3. Comparing Warranties
When comparing contractors, the third thing to look at is what warranty they offer. The warranty of your products and the installation will tell you how long they are meant to last. This will also indicate the quality of the product and artistry of a contractor.
When looking at the warranty of the products a contractor offers and the contractor’s warranty, you mostly want to consider the exclusions. Warranties consist of inclusions, exclusions, a lifespan, and what happens if you need to file a claim.
Looking at the exclusions is most important because it will tell you the quality of the products. For example, if a warranty for vinyl windows has bending or misshaping as an exclusion for the warranty, this indicates that it is a low-quality window and doesn’t have the best warranty. (This is because low-quality vinyl windows have a reputation of misshaping with changing temperatures, so if a warranty does not protect against that, it shows that the window is not durable, and the warranty will not protect it against these common damages.)
When comparing a warranty for the different products and contractors, consider these questions:
What is the lifetime of the warranty?
What is included in the warranty?
What is not included in the warranty?
What will the contractor provide if you need to file a warranty claim?
It is especially important to read the fine print and make sure you understand the details of a warranty.
You want to know a company will have your back and be there for you if something goes wrong in the future. Defining what the lifetime is, what is included and excluded, and knowing what a contractor will do if you need to file a claim is crucial when comparing companies.
4. Comparing Project Proposals
The fourth factor you want to look at when comparing contractors is the project proposals they offer. Your proposal should contain all the details of your project, including what products and design specifications you choose, installation processes, projected project date, and more.
When looking at multiple proposals from different contractors, notice what some have that others are lacking. Does the proposal:
Outline all that is included in the project
Detail product specifications and design choices
Provide installation processes for the project
Outline the length of installation time
Provide a cost breakdown of your project
Specify any changes made or change orders
As you can see, the proposal for your project should be detailed and have all the information regarding your project. If one proposal from a contractor is missing something another proposal has, this may be a red flag.
The ultimate red flag is if you just receive a cost on the back of a piece of paper or business card. If a contractor never sends you a proposal after they promised they would, this is also a red flag.
You need an official document outlining the bounds and details of your project before committing to a contractor. The project proposal says a lot about how a contractor conducts their business, so comparing proposals between different companies will help you get a better idea of which is the best choice for you.
5. Comparing Costs
After comparing companies in their longevity and online presence, products, warranties, and proposals, the final thing you want to consider is the cost. Now, although the cost is a part of the project proposal, you want to compare it as a separate factor.
When budgeting for your project, it’s important to have realistic expectations for the cost and quality. The highest quality contractor, products, and installation will never be the least expensive.
So, as you look at different costs for different contractors, you must keep your goals for your project in mind. Remember to consider these questions:
How long do you want your products to last?
How do you want them to perform?
What kind of experience do you want from a company?
High-quality products and contractors will be more expensive. If you are looking for a long-term solution for your home remodeling project, it will be a larger investment.
However, if you aren’t concerned with the quality and longevity of your products, then you may be choosing a contractor solely on who offers the lowest price. Just remember to keep your wants, goals, and needs for your project in mind when comparing costs between contractors.
How to choose the right home remodeling contractor for you
Now that you know how to compare different home remodeling contractors based on their company, products, warranty, project proposal, and cost, you can accurately and fairly compare contractors and find the best one for you.
When choosing between an array of companies for your project, the most important thing for you to remember is not to compromise your needs. The beginning phases of working with a contractor are just like the beginning of a relationship. You’re in the dating phase before signing a contract.
Now, if a date were to leave you hanging, waiting by the phone for them to call, would you still give them a chance? If a potential partner told you one thing, then didn’t fulfill their promises, would you want to continue the relationship with them?
Looking for the right home remodeling contractor is the same way. Working with a contractor should be a partnership, not a dictatorship.
With Southwest Exteriors, we work to guide you to the right home remodeling solution for you. Whether it includes us or not, we want you to be thoroughly educated on all your options so you can make the best decision.
We know that when you’re considering multiple companies to work with, it can be overwhelming and difficult to compare them, especially when it comes to the cost of your project.