Every castle needs a conservatory, and every summer house needs a solarium. Now that you have decided to add a sunroom to your home, you might be wondering the best way to go about hiring a sunroom contractor. At HFS Financial, we want to help you make intelligent decisions regarding big home improvement projects. With so many moving parts, you’ll want to make sure you find the best sunroom contractor in your area. Here’s how to do that!
1. Read Reviews and Ask for References
Hiring a contractor without looking at references and reviews is like picking a soda with no label. You’d have no idea if you chose a good or bad one.
Remember to check multiple review websites, including Google, Facebook, and Yelp. One or two poor reviews might be a fluke, but be wary if they show a pattern of dissatisfied customers.
How to Get Sunroom Contractor References
Regarding references, a legitimate sunroom contractor will probably be ready with a list of satisfied customers, so don’t feel awkward asking. You could also ask your neighborhood Facebook group if any members have used your potential contractor in the past. This way, the responses won’t be just from people hand-picked by the contractor to make them look good.
2. Decide on the Scope of the Project
There are a few aspects of the project you should decide on before meeting with prospective contractors. They will want to know specifics about your dream sunroom so they can give you the most accurate estimate.
For example, for what purpose do you plan on using your sunroom? Do you need any built-ins? Does it need French doors? A fireplace? A fan? Additionally, do you have any timeline constraints for your contractor? What is your hardline budget limit?
Knowing the answers to these questions beforehand will save you time and aid with planning during your initial contractor consultations. Visit this blog for more details about deciding on the scope of your project.
3. Make Sure Your Sunroom Contractor is Licensed, Insured, and Bonded
Stephen King said it best: “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”
License + Insurance + Bonding = Prepared
To be licensed means that the contractor has done everything in their power to follow the laws and strives to produce quality work. Being lazy or cutting corners would put them at risk of losing their license.
Being insured means the contractor is prepared for any accidents that might happen on your property. Liability is there to cover damage to your house, and workers’ compensation takes care of employees who are injured at your home.
Being bonded means the contractor is prepared if they cannot finish your sunroom project for some reason. In the event that they can’t find workers or go out of business, you can rest easy knowing that the bonding company will pay for another contractor to finish the job.
4. Get the Right Documents from Your Sunroom Contractor
Have you heard the phrase, “Pics or it didn’t happen”? Similarly, when hiring a contractor, “Documentation, or it didn’t happen.” The contract could be your saving grace if a dispute arises between you and the contractor.
The Sunroom Contractor’s Scope of Work
The most important part of the contract is the scope of work. This is where the contractor will specify every detail for which they are responsible.
Do you want extra outlets installed on your sunroom walls? Should the French doors be the same color on the inside and outside or different? Do you expect the contractor to clean up all the dust and debris? If things like this aren’t specified in the scope of work, the contractor has no obligation to follow through with them.
Cost and Schedule Estimates
Your sunroom contractor shouldn’t just give you a cost estimate without an explanation. They will show their legitimacy by itemizing the hard costs (labor + materials) and soft costs (anything outside of labor and materials). Stipulate that any cost changes due to change orders or material price increases must be agreed upon and put in writing.
The estimated schedule should be broken down into phases with an estimated completion date for each phase. Of course, timelines could be impacted by weather. Still, you can stipulate the contractor end date on the project. This can give you a good idea of when things should wrap up and the finishing touches be completed.
Blueprints and Renderings
Hopefully, your contractor will be equipped with 3D rendering software so you can see how your sunroom will look. At the very least, you should get to go over the blueprints before signing anything. Keep copies of the renderings or blueprints so you can compare them to the finished product.
5. Find the Best Financing for Your Sunroom
The most critical step in this whole process is figuring out how you will pay for your dream sunroom. Are you going to refinance your house? Maybe you don’t realize the can of worms that would be.
Home refinancing of any kind involves waiting, scheduling an appraisal, waiting some more, complicated forms, and basically starting over on paying your mortgage.
You can probably see where we’re going with this. The ideal way to finance your sunroom project is with a personal loan through HFS Financial. The application is so easy that it only takes 60 seconds to complete. One of our loan experts will be in touch with you quickly, and you’ll simply pick the perfect financing option to fit your needs.
Plus, your project will be financed upfront because we don’t do stage funding like many traditional banks. If you still have questions, send us a message, or call us at 1-800-254-9560. At HFS Financial, “You Dream It, We Finance It!”