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How to Hire a Contractor

Homeowners in Ohio should be aware that there is no statewide licensing or registration for home improvement contractors, which is why it's so important to hire a NARI Greater Cleveland member. All NARI members abide by our strict Code of Ethics. But before you start a remodeling project, begin the process by making a plan and consider your household needs and wishes.

  • Is the project a necessary repair or is it a major redesign or addition?

  • Think ahead - is your family growing or are you downsizing?

  • How will you finance the project?

  • What is your time frame? Does it need to be done by a certain date or can it be worked on in stages?

  • Before work begins, ask your contractor what inconveniences may occur and plan for them. -- Be sure your contractor is aware of vacations or special events so that he or she may plan accordingly.

  • Will you have to adjust your current lifestyle? For instance, is it a major kitchen or bathroom remodel that you need to plan to be without?

By following these simple guidelines, you can make selecting a professional contractor easier and be better prepared to make an informed decision that best suites your needs, and most importantly, protect yourself from scams.

Choosing your contractor is the most important decision you'll make in a remodeling project. Your selection will ultimately determine the success of the job and your enjoyment of the remodeling process.

When you begin the interview process, pay special attention to how a contractor interacts with you when answering your questions. Communication is key to the success of your project. Here is a list of questions to help you establish a contractor's qualifications and reputation, and to help you find the right person for your remodeling job.

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Who will be assigned as the project supervisor for the job?

  • What is the time frame for starting the project?

  • What is your approach to a project of this scope?

  • Do you have employees or do you use subcontractors?

  • Is your company a full service or specialty contractor?

  • Do you have design services available?

  • Does your company carry worker's compensation and liability insurance?

  • Do any of your employees hold trade certifications?

  • How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year?

  • May I have a list of references for projects you've completed which are similar to mine?

  • Will we need a permit for this project?

By taking the time to choose the right person for the job, you're assured of getting a remodeling professional that's committed to the success of your project.

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