When done right, a basement renovation can add tons of liveable space to your home. If you’re going to tackle this project, you want to make sure you have the help of a pro you can trust. Here are 5 things to look for in a basement renovation company.
Proven Track Record
Before you hire, you want to make sure that the company has a lot of experience with projects like yours. Depending on the industry, a lot of experience can mean different things. Generally speaking, a company that has been in business for at least 5 years is a good place to start.
Once you know that the company has been in business for a while, you want to make sure that the company has a solid track record. Start your search on HomeStars to read reviews from previous customers and browse photos of past projects. Once you’re in touch with the company, ask to speak to past clients. You want to make sure you know exactly what to expect when you’re working with them.
Hiring a specialist isn’t necessary for every renovation, but if you’re looking to redo your basement, you want to hire someone specializing in these kinds of projects. Basement specialists need to be familiar with both the unique electrical and plumbing systems that run through the basement and the permits necessary if you want to make any changes.
Basements are typically darker and damper than other parts of the home, so these projects usually require a unique design and specialty materials. A basement expert will not only know what materials are most durable, but they may also have connections with specialty manufactures (or create their own!).
Licences & Insurance
With any home project, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. That’s why it’s important to verify your pro’s license and insurance before you hire. When asked, your pro should be able to produce documentation proving that they have both worker’s compensation and liability insurance. In the rare case that an accident occurs during your project, these measures will ensure that you will not be held responsible for damages.
You’ll also want to see licenses for any subcontractors working on your project. Basement renovations often involve specialty work and it’s not uncommon for these projects to be contracted out to experts in those trades. This practice alone is not a red flag, you just want to make sure all of the people working on your project are knowledgeable, reliable, and can be held accountable for the quality of their work.
If you or your pro will be making changes to your home’s electrical, plumbing or gas, you’ll need permits. Unless you feel comfortable collecting all the information you need to obtain a permit, you’ll want to check that your contractor is willing to go through the process for you. If a contractor encourages you to pass on the permit, start looking for another pro.
Fair & Complete Quotes
Before you make your final hiring decision, you should be sure to collect quotes from a few different pros. The way your project is quoted will say a lot about the company. Is the quote detailed and account for every part of the job? Are costs itemized? Did it include a project timeline? If you notice differences between quotes, feel free to ask companies whether something is missing. Don’t forget that companies giving you the lowest quote aren’t necessarily giving you the best value for your money. Spending a little bit more often ends up paying off!
Knowing what to look for is just the first step in the hiring process. You should meet candidates over the phone and in person, have them walk through the site and get bids from multiple companies before you hire. With a project this size, you want to feel 100% confident that you’ve found the right pro for the job.