Home improvements can be painless when you plan ahead
Last updated 2/19/2009 at Noon
Scott Youngren, president of Youngren Construction, who specializes in making home improvements easy and convenient for homeowners, shares the following tips with Village News readers:
Begin by obtaining bids from three contractors licensed with the Contractors State License Board. You can verify the information they provide at http://www.cslb.ca.gov or (800) 321-2752.
Getting bids is not the end of the process; it’s the beginning. Ask each contractor for three references. Don’t be shy about following up. Call the references to ascertain if the work was completed to their satisfaction. Tell them you’d like to see the finished project.
At this point, you may have whittled down your list to two contractors. That’s good, as it gives you an opportunity to compare bids. Just make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. For instance, is the contractor getting all necessary permits and are permit fees included in the bid?
Ask each contractor for a detailed description of the work to be done, including materials and equipment that will be installed. Is one contractor giving you beautiful granite countertops while the other is sneaking by with a lesser quality? Check details now to avoid disappointments later.
In my 17 years of home remodeling, I have dealt with homeowners disappointed by the work performed by previous contractors and who have called on me to remedy the situation. Often, they lament having chosen the lowest bidder without checking the details first.
The secret to a successful home improvement project lies in doing your homework and legwork beforehand and in realizing that the lowest bid is not necessarily the best bid.
Your home is your biggest investment and it’s the heart and hearth of your family. Make sure you get what you pay for, and understand that the enduring quality you want is worth paying for, now and in the long run.
Questions can be directed to Scott Youngren at (760) 728-9874. If you have a construction-related question you would like answered in a subsequent article, please e-mail [email protected]