Here you are at the beginning of your home remodeling project journey.
Maybe you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen, replacing your home’s windows, or adding some landscaping to your front yard. No matter the project, dozens of questions are circling your mind.
What type of product am I looking for? How long will this project take? How much will it cost? Should I DIY it or find a contractor? How do I find the right company for my project?
We get it. Starting any project can be a little scary and overwhelming (especially when trying to find the right contractor to take on your project).
Finding the right contractor is like finding the right partner. Whether you’re vetting out a life partner, business partner, or best friend, you want them to be honest, caring, and trustworthy.
But, just as it can be difficult to identify a bad partner until bad news breaks down the road, it can be just as hard to weed out the great contractors from the not-so-great ones.
Lucky for you, we know exactly how you can find the right home remodeling company for your project.
Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior remodeling company in San Antonio since 1989. We pride ourselves on serving all homeowners with love and excellence, and we know that trust is a crucial thing we must earn with our clients.
Over these thirty-plus years, we’ve helped many homeowners who have had unfortunate experiences with untrustworthy contractors. While we’re glad we were able to help them make their home remodeling project right, we never want anyone to have an unpleasant experience with any company.
We want you to have the right tools in place to spot a trustworthy contractor from a potentially untrustworthy one.
This article will outline three steps to follow to help you find the right contractor for your project. We will also list some questions in each step you should be asking yourself to better identify if a contractor is right for you.
After reading, you’ll be well-equipped to effectively research and choose the best contractor that will meet your needs for your project.
Step 1: Research the contractor you are interested in
The first step to finding the right contractor for you is research. Turning to your computer and typing “contractors near me” will provide you with a plethora of companies.
So, researching is your first filter to put prospective contractors through to know if they will be the right contractor for you. But, what exactly should you look for while researching these companies?
Here, we’ll provide you with three questions to ask yourself as you research potential contractors to work with. These criteria will tell you whether this company is trustworthy.
Question 1: Do they have a good, visible online presence?
When you click to dive more into a specific company, what do you see? What is their website like? Do they have a social media presence?
Ask yourself how their online presence makes you feel. Does their website make you feel pushed or welcome? Are their social media posts only about trying to convince you to work with them? These are just a few questions to consider when looking at a company's online media.
If the answer to Question 1 is yes, move on to Question 2.
If no, trust your instincts. A company that does not make you feel good by looking at its content online is not the right contractor for you.
Question 2: Do they have great reviews?
A large part of finding a great contractor is looking at their reviews from real clients. You want to know what type of experience homeowners had with this company.
Pay attention to specific keywords and adjectives reviews use to describe working with this company. These will be a tell-tale sign as to whether this is a quality contractor or not.
If they do have great reviews, continue to the next question.
If they don’t have great reviews, RUN. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Question 3: Do they have pictures of their work online?
As you’re researching a company, make sure to look for pictures of their work. Check their website, social media, and reviews from clients to see if they have authentic pictures to prove their work.
If all of their pictures look incredibly staged and fake, there’s probably a reason for that. You don’t want to blindly work with a company when you’ve never actually seen their work, right?
If you can see they have great authentic pictures online, you’re ready to move on to Step 2.
If their online photos are only stock imagery and you can’t find a picture that doesn’t look fake, be cautious moving forward to contacting them.
Step 2: Contact and meet with your prospective contractor
If you’ve made it through Step 1 with positive answers, then you’ve researched a contractor thoroughly and are ready to talk with them about your project.
Researching prior to contacting a company allows you to have a better idea of what kind of contractor they are. What are their values? How do they treat their clients? What is their work like? But, meeting with a contractor in person will tell you even more.
So, they’ve made it through the first test. Now it’s time to analyze how they treat you during a consultation. Here, we’ll outline questions to ask yourself during an appointment or consultation with a contractor.
Question 1: Did they pick up when you called?
Starting with this question may seem a bit silly, but…did they? An unanswered phone call can be slightly off-putting, especially with a prospective company you want to work with.
If they didn’t answer, did they call back in a timely manner? A part of this question, too, is if the number is in service.
If the answer is yes, move on to Question 2.
If you call a number and they either don’t answer, if they don’t call back, or the number is not in service, it’s best for you to find a different company.
Question 2: During the consultation, was the conversation centered around your needs?
You’ve called and scheduled an appointment with this contractor. Great! Now, it’s time to look at how the appointment goes.
A trustworthy and caring contractor will make sure you feel taken care of during the consultation, but not in a salesy way. They will ask you questions about your wants, goals, and needs for your project and offer their expertise to guide you to the right solution for you.
If you feel pushed one way or another during a consultation, notice the contractor talking a lot about themselves, talking badly about their competition, or they disregard your questions and concerns, this is a red flag.
If the contractor answers all your questions thoroughly, asks you questions to better understand your needs, and listens to you, this is a green flag.
Question 3: Did the contractor take their time during the consultation?
You never want to feel rushed or pushed into a decision. You want to work with a contractor that is there to help you, not just make a sale.
If a contractor takes their time during your consultation to really understand your needs and help you find the right solution, this is a sign of a trustworthy contractor.
If a contractor is rushing through a presentation, brushing off your questions with quick answers, and seems a little too eager to get you to sign a contract, take a step back.
Question 4: Did the contractor provide ample time to commit to your project?
Typically at the end of a consultation, you’ll be presented with a quote for the cost and bounds of your project. The expiration of this quote is an important thing to look at to determine if a contractor cares about you or not.
Some contractors only validate your quote for the day of the appointment. This is a tactic used to quickly make a sale.
Other contractors will validate your offer anywhere from a few days to a month. This type of contractor wants to allow you time to think about your project and come to a decision without feeling pressured by a ticking clock.
If the contractor you meet with pressures you to sign on the same day as your appointment, pause and consider all of the above questions.
If the answers are yes to Questions 1-3, then maybe you feel ready to sign the paperwork and start your project. But, if you didn’t feel taken care of during your consultation and felt your needs were not heard, you probably want to put the pen down.
Step 3: Take note of how the contractor follows-up
You’ve done the research and met with a prospective contractor for your project. After meeting with them, you probably have an idea of whether they are the right contractor for you or not.
Following your consultation, there is one question to ask yourself to seal the deal.
Question 1: Did they follow through with what they promised?
Your contact with a contractor before, during, and after meeting with them is extremely telling of how they treat their clients. You need to know that they will follow through with what they tell you.
For example, if a contractor tells you they will give you a call the next day to discuss project details, then don’t call you, this is a red flag. It’s understandable that things happen. However, you want to work with a contractor that can and will keep their word.
If you answer yes to this question, you may have sealed the deal and found the right contractor for you.
If no, be cautious. You do not want to be in the dark throughout your entire project if you work with this type of contractor.
Finding the right home remodeling contractor for you: Examining your results
After following Steps 1, 2, and 3 and asking yourself these eight crucial questions, it’s time to examine your results.
If you answered yes to:
1-3 questions: Keep looking for a different contractor. This one is not for you.
3-5 questions: They might be the right contractor for you, but don’t commit so easily.
6-8 questions: This contractor seems trustworthy. If they listen to you, take your needs into consideration, and don’t pressure you, they might be the right contractor for you.
All in all, it’s important for you to trust your gut. If something seems off about a company, don’t ignore it.
If you want a high-quality result for your home remodeling project, you will need to find a contractor that listens to you, cares about you, and helps you find the right solution for you.
So, as you’re planning for your home remodeling project and outlining your goals, finding a contractor that fits into your budget is crucial. If you’ve met with a few contractors and noticed a gap in their pricing, you may wonder, why? Should you choose the more expensive or less expensive contractor?
Are you looking for a trustworthy exterior home remodeling contractor?
Southwest Exteriors offers window, siding, and door replacements, as well as exterior painting and concrete coating.
Serving you with care, ensuring you’re always communicated with, and educating you on all you need to know are important to us. We know that when you trust us with your home, it is a large responsibility that we are honored to take on.
Whether you work with us or not, we want you to have the right tools in place to choose the best products and services for you.