Finding the Right Builder for Your Remodel

This guest post was contributed by Real Estate Experts, your resource for real estate in Carboro, NC.

Remodeling can give your home a new lease on life – and as real estate agents, we’ve seen the gains in property value our clients have made through effective renovations. If you’re looking to make some home improvements, finding quality professional assistance is key. Read on for our guide to finding the right builder for your remodel!

Plan Ahead

A good building professional will be able to offer smart suggestions for upgrades – priority areas, resale value, cost comparisons – but you can simplify this process and ensure quality consultation by thinking about what you want ahead of time. What’s your approximate budget? What do you hope to accomplish? If you need to make some tradeoffs, which repairs or upgrades can be set aside? It can also help to ask yourself some basic questions about your goal. For example, if you want to add another room, will it be a bedroom, a guest room, an eventual home office? If you’re renovating your backyard, what activities do you picture? Developing an outline of your objectives – both for the renovation work and for your refurbished home – will facilitate collaboration.

Look for Rave Reviews

Renovation is an expensive and time-consuming investment, and professionalism among builders can vary. The best way to ensure quality service is to establish a sense of past performance. Your friends and neighbors should be able to refer you to a builder they’ve had a positive experience with – or steer you away from bad options. Another oft-overlooked resource is your local realtor! Real estate agents often work with properties that require repairs before sale, and they typically have a list of vetted building professionals. They’ll be able to guide you to the right local option.

Talk to Local Building Inspectors

Local building inspectors are in charge of ensuring that buildings are constructed and maintained according to a quality standard, and they have informal contacts with most of the building professionals in the area. Many inspectors are happy to offer referrals and advice. After, it’s in their best interest that local residential remodeling projects go smoothly. They’ll also be able to “flag” a dodgy prospect, which can be a lifesaver for property owners who are new to an area and might otherwise wind up commissioning an intensive project from an unreliable builder.

Style and Substance

When you consult with a prospective builder, ask to look at a portfolio of completed work. This will help you get a sense of their skill, but it can also help you see whether you’re a good style and design match. Scope is another good benchmark – for example, a builder who specializes in whole-house remodels may not be an efficient choice for your master bathroom. Past projects aren’t an indication that your builder can’t complete a different project, but you will want to choose someone whose design perspective is similar to your own vision. A competent builder will also be able to talk you through past projects in logistical terms, using them to help you establish a baseline for your own home. Feel free to ask why a given project was designed in a particular way, what challenges and changes occurred over the course of the project, and how the final result differs from the initial design.

Be Realistic About Restrictions

It’s important to be clear about your budget – you don’t want your excitement over a redesigned home to turn into worry about how you’ll meet spiraling expenses. A successful partnership will incorporate frank, solution-oriented discussion of the cost of each aspect of the remodel, and a professional builder will be able to adjust to ensure that your project is not running far over budget. If you feel pressured into features you can’t afford, take it as a sign to look elsewhere. Be up front about your priorities and your limits, so that your builder can accommodate them at every step.

Beware of Bargains

Exorbitant prices don’t always translate to exceptional value, but a low price can be a dangerous temptation. If you get a quote that seems too good to be true, it probably is – especially if it’s suspiciously low compared to other estimates for the same work. You should also wary of false economies when planning a project – cheap materials may save you money now, but they’ll cost you much more in maintenance and replacement expenses down the road. If your builder recommends an extra outlay for the sake of durability or resale value, consider whether you can manage the expense. It may pay off in the long run.

Finding the right match can feel like a challenge, especially for homeowners who have no “DIY” experience themselves. However, a reputable builder can be an invaluable asset, and if you keep these tips in mind, you should have no trouble finding a responsible professional to help you reach your goal.

At Real Estate Experts, our clients are our priority. Visit us online at  

Comment balloon 1 commentJenifer Lower • July 25 2017 03:38PM
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