Because renovations are stressful enough as it is.
It’s unsurprising that when Sweeten, a free matchmaker service for homeowners and general contractors, asked 700 renovators if they thought remodels were stressful—part of a recent survey they conducted with global marketing firm Schlesinger Associates—a whopping 88 percent said yes. There’s much money involved (eek) and so many moving parts to stay on top of (ugh) that it’s hard to imagine anyone sailing through the experience. Sweeten found that there’s one thing that truly makes or breaks a renovation: a quality contractor. In the survey, 66 percent of renovators named finding a good one their greatest concern. What exactly makes certain contractors stand out from the rest? Here’s which attributes Sweeten survey participants thought were most important:
A good contractor . . .
1. Gives you a detailed written proposal
Most important for 84 percent of renovators
“Get everything in writing,” celebrity contractor Stephen Fanuka always tells us. That means an itemized list of materials, who’s going to get the building permits, and all the details in between.
2. Returns phone calls in a timely manner
Most important for 81 percent of renovators
This is just what decent human beings do, and it reassures you that your project is top of mind.
3. Stays at cost
Most important for 80 percent of renovators
A top-notch contractor will work with you to achieve a budget you both agree on from the start, then keep you in the loop (see attribute #2) if things go awry.
4. Guarantees quality workmanship for a certain time period
Most important for 79 percent of renovators
You don’t want that new kitchen falling apart within a year. Lifestyle blogger Aimee Song found out the hard way that top-quality materials aren’t a guarantee. “You trust the contractor to put in good materials for the house, but whenever my dad would take photos, I saw the plumbing materials were the cheapest ones; the wood wasn’t solid wood. Then the contractor asked for more money to put in good materials. That’s how I fired him—no, this is a total ripoff, not doing that,” she told us.
Written By Lindsey Mather from Architectural Digest