With the recent arrival of Fall, many of us are all too aware that the holidays are just around the corner. At households all over the South, plans are already underway for who will host Thanksgiving this year, who will throw the holiday party of the season, and who will set the table for the time-honored tradition of Christmas dinner. As your eye sweeps room after room in hopes of unlocking the secret to how to comfortably fit all of those people in your home or how to update the look of your home so it makes a beautiful backdrop to a new collection of holiday memories, you may not have the slightest clue as to how to get started. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five tips to finding a great remodeling company to help you get started. Once you have a professional, reputable, and creative remodeling company in place, the rest should be easy and FUN!
1) Ask Your Friends and Neighbors: Word of mouth is perhaps one of the best ways to find a great remodeling company. Many friends and neighbors will welcome the chance to discuss all of the pros and cons of the remodeling company they chose for their renovation project. Bear in mind that some renovation companies excel in some areas, and not in others. So while you may love the outdoor living room at the Smith’s house down the street, but you’re in the market for a kitchen renovation – that may not be that particular company’s forte. Ask around and compile as many notes as you can. Be sure to ask if the company your friend or family member used DESIGNED the project, as well as built it. If not, you may need to plan on hiring an interior designer or architect, in addition to the renovation company. Some companies offer their clients incentive programs for referring new customers, so in the end – you may wind up with a beautiful renovation, and your friend or family member many wind up with a little extra cash in their pocket. If – in the end – you are truly happy with your remodel, be sure to pay it forward to other folks who may be looking for a good renovation company.
2) Ask a Real Estate Professional: If you have a friend or an acquaintance who sells real estate, ask them if they can recommend anyone. After all, these folks often have their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and best return on investment for most remodeling projects, and frequently have a direct line to a skilled contractor or design-build firm. They are often accustomed to referring homeowners to renovation companies in order to get their homes “show ready” before putting a FOR SALE sign in the yard due to the competitive nature of the housing market these days. With all of the foreclosure and distressed properties out there, some have built solid relationships with qualified renovation companies due to much-needed repairs before the sale and aesthetic enhancements after the sale. Depending on their relationship with the company, they might even be able to get you a great deal with their referral.
3) Look to Professional Organizations: There is a wealth of resources out there with regard to professional organizations that can help point you in the right direction. It is always wise to dig a little deeper in order to discover if the general contractor or design-build firm you are considering for your next home renovation or improvement project is above board and will not leave you standing in the midst of a half-finished home while they take off with your deposit. Some companies may take your project to completion, but their craftsmanship is shoddy, they may not have filed for all of the necessary permits, or they are not properly insured and licensed and your project may end up costing you far more than you originally planned in the long run. One way to guard against any of these scenarios from happening is to look into the company’s/contractor’s professional affiliations. If they have none, that’s probably not a good sign. Many of the professional builders’ organizations in Georgia and the United States require a membership fee to join as well as a review of business practices – in other words, they’ve already done a lot of the research for you. Be on the lookout for Better Business Bureau-accreditation and National Association of the Remodeling Industry, in particular. You can also place a call to your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they can recommend anyone – chances are, it will be one of their members.
4) Sweep the Internet: Whether you use Google, Yahoo, or Bing to begin your search, it’s a good practice to read everything you can about a company before you spend the time, energy and money to meet with them. Perform a simple internet search of the company name and look at their company website, as well as any reviews that people may have posted about them – good and bad. If any of them raises a question in your mind, you may want to scratch that company off your list. In the event that you know the company owner/principal’s name, perform an internet search on them, as well. Sometimes, company owners will close a business after too much bad press or to hide from creditors, only to reopen under a different name. Long story short, do your homework.
5) Request a Face-to-Face Meeting: All of the research in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t click with your renovation company. You are about to let these people take a sledgehammer to one of your most prized possessions – your family’s home. It’s vital that you two are on the same page with regard to the direction of the project. The initial meeting should be jovial and light. You should be able to feel a charge of excitement as you share your needs and they share their visions. If there’s no spark or the meeting is strained in anyway, you can bet that will serve as a sneak preview into how this renovation is going to play out. Keep in mind, many renovation companies do charge for an on-site consultation – that’s why it’s important to narrow the list down BEFORE you get to this stage. Ask for bid proposals, but don’t take the cheapest price as your only consideration. The relationship between you and your renovator is key to the overall success of the project.
We at Highlight Homes hope we make your list of renovation companies to consider. We serve the entire Metro Atlanta area and surrounding suburbs, and – because we got our start in the home building industry – boast a broad array of specialties. We offer kitchen and bath remodels, basement finishing, room additions, decks and patios, water features and landscape design, window and door replacement, roof and siding replacement, whole home renovations, and much, much more. Because we are a design-build firm, there is no need to hire an architect or interior designer – we do it all in-house! We are also members of the National Home Builders Association, Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA), Certified Professional Home Builders of Georgia, the GAHBA’s Remodelers Council, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Highlight Homes is the proud recipient of the 28th annual Obie Award – a great honor in the highly revered Atlanta Home Market, in addition to being a certified Earth Craft House Builder, Energy Star Partner, and LEED Certified Home Builder – fully committed to protecting the environment by promoting green initiatives in both design and construction of the homes and home additions we create. We are also extremely thrilled with our recent 2010 distinction as a Better Business Bureau accredited business. We are honored to have built solid relationships with the clients we serve as well as a number of Atlanta’s finest real estate professionals and mortgage companies. If you would like to jump ahead to number 5 on our list of Five Tips to Finding a Great Remodeling Company, look no further than Highlight Homes. Contact us TODAY to schedule an on-site consultation. We can be reached by calling 678.873.9234, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling out our convenient online contact form. To learn more about Highlight Homes, view our online portfolio, or see our full list of services, we invite you to visit us online at www.highlighthomesga.com. To stay up-to-date on the latest Highlight Homes news, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, The Highlight Homes Herald.