But you want someone to tell you, “This is going to be a trustworthy company for you and your project.” Southwest Exteriors is here to help.
As a San Antonio home remodeling contractor since 1989, we’ve learned much about what makes a high-quality home remodeling company and how to become one.
While we offer some of the highest quality products, services, warranties, and installation, we know we are not always the right company for every homeowner.
No matter who you choose to work with for your next project, we want you to have the right knowledge and tools in your box to be able to spot a trustworthy contractor in your area.
This article will take you through 10 qualities of a high-quality, trustworthy home remodeling contractor and allow you to rate how well the contractor you consider fits the qualities.
After reading, you will tally your answers to learn the level of riskiness your potential contractor portrays to you. Then, you can better understand if the contractor you are considering for your project will be a risky choice and can find the right company that will pose the least amount of risk for you.
Finding A Trustworthy Contractor: How Risky Are They?
When it comes to choosing a restaurant for lunch or where to position a piece of art on your wall, you probably wouldn’t consider these risky decisions.
A risky decision is one you take your time on. It may be weeks, months, or even years until you finally make a choice.
So, if you’ve been thinking about starting a new home remodeling project, you want to choose a contractor you can trust and that will pose the least risk to you and your home.
How do you find a contractor you know will not be a risky decision? Follow along with these 10 statements below and rate the contractor you are considering on a scale of 0 to 5.
Giving a contractor a score of 0 means they met all the criteria outlined for that statement.
A score of 5 would mean they did not meet any of the criteria.
Once you’ve gone through all 10 statements and given your potential contractor a score, you will tally them up to see your results at the end.
Let’s get started.
#1. The home remodeling contractor has been locally established for at least 7-10 years.
One of the first things you need to confirm is that a contractor has been locally established for around 7-10 years.
This is important because this means the company has established credibility and longevity. This also allows you to feel confident in their work and their warranty by checking historical reviews and looking into the founding of the company.
A contractor that has only been around for a year or two is not as trustworthy as one that has been around for a decade. How do you know this new company on the market will sustain its business and be there for you when you need them in the future?
A score of 0 would mean the company was established for at least 10 years or maybe more.
A score of 5 would mean they have been established for less than a year.
#2. The home remodeling contractor has exceptional reviews and real photos of their work available.
Once you’ve established the longevity of a home remodeling company, you next want to ensure they have good quality real reviews and photos of their work on hand.
When looking at a company’s reviews, you want their overall rating to be at least over 4.5 stars. The reviews should be incredibly detailed, including the client’s experience from the beginning of their product all the way to the finishing touches.
If the majority of a company’s reviews only mention the sales presentation and how well they liked their sales representative, this is a red flag. This reviewer has not yet had their project complete, so how do you know the company will offer exceptional service?
You also want to be able to see real photos of the company’s work, whether that’s through their website, their presentation to you, or through reviews. Seeing real photos of the company’s work allows you to know whether their workmanship matches what they promise and will meet your needs.
A score of 0 means the company has exceptional, detailed reviews, and you’ve seen photos of their work.
A 5 would mean the company does not have good reviews, and you have not seen any pictures of what they do.
#3. The design consultant took the time to educate you on all the products and truly helped design what you want.
When meeting with a potential home remodeling company, you want to feel you have a full understanding of the products they offer and that they will help you achieve your goals.
A high-quality home remodeling contractor will help you design what you want to fit best into your home, not just sell you a product as fast as possible.
You want to feel confident you understand what products they offer, if they will meet your goals and needs, and that the contractor listened to your needs and provided helpful suggestions to meet your needs.
A score of 0 would mean the company thoroughly educated you on all their products and was helpful, not pushy, in meeting your needs for the design and performance of your products.
A score of 5 would mean you do not fully understand what they offer, their products don’t meet your needs, and the contractor was rushing you through the design process just to make a sale.
#4. The home remodeling company thoroughly explained the installation process for your project.
One important aspect of finding the right company for your home remodeling project is understanding their installation process from top to bottom.
Even if you have minimal knowledge of how your project should be installed, you want the confidence that your contractor can explain what they will be doing in full detail to help you understand they have excellent craftsmanship.
The contractor you are considering should explain exactly how things will be removed and installed, where equipment will be stored and how they will take care of your home from the very beginning of your project to the finishing touches. They should also be able to answer any detailed questions you have about your project.
Then, you can have the confidence they will provide you with a high-quality project and take care of your home throughout the process.
A score of 0 would mean the contractor thoroughly explained their installation processes and answered all your questions.
A score of 5 would mean the company did not talk about their installation at all and dodged your questions regarding the specifics of the installation.
#5. The contractor ensures you will have a project manager for your project.
Along with understanding the installation process of your project, you want to know that you will have a project manager that takes care of all aspects of your project.
The project manager will be in constant communication with you about updates on your project and will be your go-to person for any questions or concerns you may have.
A project without a project manager is like a car without a battery. Without one, the operations do not run smoothly, and things continue to go wrong.
If you do not have a project manager, YOU become the project manager. You will be left to always question what’s going on with your project and crave updates that you aren’t receiving.
A score of 0 means you know who your project manager will be for your project, and they may have already contacted you.
A score of 5 means you know there is no project manager, or the contractor did not mention it, and you feel confused about the next steps of your project.
#6. The contractor was able to show you pictures of their installation crews and project managers.
After knowing that your potential contractor has a project manager for your project, you want to be able to see who you will be working with and who will take care of your home.
When you meet with a potential contractor, you want to see who you will be working with. This adds another level of confidence in this contractor, knowing you can see who will be working on your home. This also establishes more credibility for the company.
If you do not see any pictures of the crews or project managers that will be working with you on your project, it is not the end of the world. But, it is an added layer of assurance that you can see who exactly you’ll be working with on your project.
A score of 0 would mean you’ve seen photos of your project manager, installation crews, and any partners you will be in contact with during your project.
A score of 5 means you did not see any pictures of who you will be working with on your project and aren’t exactly sure how a company sources its installation crews.
#7. The home remodeling contractor offers a high-quality warranty and explains the parts of the warranty in depth.
The warranty a contractor offers is crucial to understanding how they will back up their work in the future.
Your potential contractor for your project should explain their company warranty and product warranties in depth, including how long they last, what is included and excluded, and how they will handle any warranty claims.
If you do not understand the warranty a company carries, you do not know if they will be there in the future to provide you with services if something goes wrong with your products.
A score of 0 would mean you fully understand the warranty a contractor offers and the warranties of the products, and they are quality warranties that last for years or even a lifetime.
A score of 5 would mean the contractor did not explain their warranty, and you aren’t even sure what their warranty is.
#8. The home remodeling contractor provided you with a full breakdown of the cost of your project through a detailed project proposal.
You need to understand why your project costs what it is and that the contractor is transparent in their pricing.
A detailed project proposal shows the amount of effort a contractor will put into your project. If they give great attention to detail in the documentation of your project and the contract, imagine the amount of detail they have throughout your project.
A score of 0 would mean the contractor provided you with a highly detailed breakdown of the cost of your project as well as a detailed proposal including all aspects of your project.
A score of 5 would mean the contractor did not provide you with a price breakdown of your project. They did not give you an official project proposal and may have even written a price on the back of a napkin.
#9. The company offers multiple financing options to help fit your budget.
A home remodeling project is no small investment. Even as a financially stable homeowner, dropping thousands of dollars all at once is nerve-wracking for anyone.
Whether you want to pay for your project through monthly payments over time or split the cost into just two installments, you want to find a company that provides you with the option.
A contractor that offers multiple payment plans for your project allows you to choose a high-quality contractor without breaking the bank. If a contractor only offers you one or two options, they most likely only care about making the sale.
A score of 0 would mean the contractor provided you with multiple financing options to help best fit your budget.
A score of 5 would mean the contractor offered little to no financing options and pushed you in just one direction to pay for your project.
#10. The home remodeling contractor followed up with you and kept their word on what they promised.
The final thing to look at to determine the risk of choosing a home remodeling contractor is if they followed through with what they promised to you.
After you meet with a potential contractor, if they say they will contact you the next day but do not, this is a red flag.
You want to work with a contractor that can follow through with its promises from the get-go. We understand that common slipups happen. People forget things. But, if you decide to work with a company that continuously falls short on its promises, this is a risky decision.
A score of 0 would mean the contractor keeps in constant contact with you and has followed through with all of their promises.
A score of 5 would mean the contractor fell through on their promises multiple times and left you disappointed and lost.
The final scores: How risky is your potential home remodeling contractor?
Now that you’ve completed this risk assessment to find the best home remodeling contractor for you, it’s time to tally the results. Simply add up all the scores you gave your potential contractor for each question and compare them to the results below.
0-13: This contractor does not pose much risk to your project. They most likely checked all your boxes and will provide you with high-quality communication, installation, warranty, and overall service.
14-26: This contractor may not meet all your criteria, but they may fit more into your budget. They may have more qualities that slip through the cracks than a higher quality contractor, but they pose a 50% chance of risk if you choose them.
27-40: This contractor is leaning towards an extremely risky decision. They most likely have scored mediocre to high on each of the qualities outlined and will not provide you with the highest quality outcome.
41-50: If your potential contractor scored in this range, they pose a high risk for you, your project, and your home. This contractor most likely will not meet your needs and will not care for your needs.
To choose the best home remodeling company for your project, we recommend staying within the 0-20 point range. This contractor will most likely provide you with a high-quality project, take care of your home, and make you feel confident in their work.
When searching for the right contractor for your project, it’s important to have realistic expectations.
The highest quality contractor will never be the least expensive, so you must outline your wants, goals, and needs for your project to find the right company that will meet your criteria.
So, as you are searching for the right company for your home remodeling project, you probably have a few different contractors you’re considering for the project. But how do you accurately compare them to find the best one for you?