Choose the right New Jersey contractor for your project
New Jersey ranks second in education, and 10th for economic opportunity, according to U.S. News and World Report. And let’s not forget that it’s also the home for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.
For residents and natives alike, New Jersey is just right. If you have been here for a while or recently decided to stay, you might be considering renovation. And if you are renovating in N.J, it only makes sense to choose the right New Jersey contractor for your project.
With 130 miles of prime beachfront and 18 boardwalks as well as Wildwood and Atlantic City, the Garden State is more wonderful than most people realize. By renovating in New Jersey, you are doing your small part to make the state even more beautiful. So don’t mess it up by choosing the wrong New Jersey contractor.
Steps to take when renovating in New Jersey
Do as much as you can ahead of time – if you are renovating a new home or property, you may want to talk to a New Jersey contractor before you move in. Then you won’t have to worry about living or working in the space while renovations are being completed. Also, the perfect space you envisioned will be ready and waiting for you.
Decide what needs to be changed and why – whether for function, necessity or aesthetics, it’s important to have a clear picture of your project in mind ahead of time. Having the right plan beforehand will prevent costly adjustments and confusion later.
Be aware of what you can and cannot do – for example, you may want to add a second level but if your foundation won’t support that, you will either have to pay more or cancel your project altogether. There could also be code restrictions in your neighborhood or county.
Get estimates – in this step, it’s vital to make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges. Look for contractors with the experience and services you want. Then, compare these similar companies.
Pick a budget and stick to it – it’s easy to be swayed by additional bells and whistles when planning a renovation. Marble over granite, stainless steel instead of plastic and brick in place of aluminum siding will have a significant impact on your budget.
In addition, you should have a basic idea for what projects cost in your area. For example, in New Jersey, you should expect to pay about $80,000 for a room addition, $30,000 to $100,000 for a kitchen upgrade and new wood flooring is approximately $8 per square foot. This should help you understand what you can afford and budget accordingly.
Hire the right New Jersey contractor – major renovations should not be attempted as a do-it-yourself project unless you really know what you’re doing. Trust the experts to get it done right the first time. This can only be accomplished by hiring the right professionals to do the job.
It’s essential to find a New Jersey contractor you can trust and build a relationship based on communication and understanding. The sooner you get the contractor involved with your project, the better the final outcome will be.
Dangers of choosing the wrong New Jersey contractor
- Poor workmanship
- Endless delays
- Cost overruns
- The worst is contractors who start a project, don’t complete it, and disappear with your money
How to choose the right New Jersey contractor for your project
- The New Jersey contractors you choose for your renovation should have years of experience performing the type of work you require. You must also check that they have the necessary licenses, certifications and insurance to minimize the possibility for accidents happening and ensure that you are not left holding the bag if they do.
If your contractor is not licensed, there is little to nothing you can do to remedy their mistakes. In other words, let the buyer beware. For New Jersey, contactors are licensed by the state. You can check on yours by going to the Division of Consumer Affairs website. Make sure you look at nearby states as well. A company could have a bad record in one state, get a new license in a neighboring state, and you would be none the wiser.
- Request (and check) references. A top quality contractor will have a multitude of satisfied customers. Ask about aspects such as whether everyone at the company was friendly and knowledgeable, if the project was completed on time and satisfactorily and how changes were handled.
- Do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau or Department of Consumer Affairs to find out if there are any major complaints against the company. While some small complaints are to be expected, large ones should make you run in the opposite direction. Things like lawsuits or numerous disagreements with subcontractors are significant red flags.
- Don’t sign a contract unless you understand all aspects of it. It should stipulate issues like how payments will be made and schedule of work to be performed.
- Ask your contractor the right questions. You need to make sure they use only the best materials, so ask where they obtain them. Is everyone on their team properly trained and insured? Do they have a good reputation in your community? Whether their customers return to them for additional projects is another indication of their professionalism and the quality of their work. You may also need to know how many other projects they will be working on simultaneously and how many subcontractors they plan to use.
Also, find out if they offer any guarantees on workmanship or materials. From the design phase to project completion, your contractor should be responsive and make you feel comfortable and confident about your choice.
Your home or property is probably your biggest asset. But the wrong contractor will cost you. You conduct weeks and months’ worth of due diligence for less expensive assets. Don’t slack off when it comes to renovations.
Make sure your renovations add value and give you a huge return on investment instead of becoming a headache. Choose the right New Jersey contractor the first time.