Hiring a Contractor for Home Remodeling in Houston

12:29 Nov 2023
Contractor for Home Remodeling

Preparing to hire a contractor for home remodeling in Houston takes time and research and should not be rushed. 

Home remodeling is generally a high-ticket purchase that can have lasting negative effects if not done properly as well as creating additional consequential damages.  

There are many different reasons that owners choose to remodel their homes, but there are three common situations where owners are highly motivated and don’t always take the time and care of properly researching contractors for home remodeling.

We will examine these three common situations;

The first situation is when an owner’s home is damaged by some form of hazard. There is a natural tendency for owners to get referrals from the insurance company and quickly hire the recommended contractor for remodeling.

The typical motivation for owners is to get the work done so that their family can get back to normal household routines and the enjoyment of their home.

The second most common situation is when an owner buys a home. In these cases, they are highly motivated to make as many update remodeling improvements as they can, as fast as they can, before they move in.

Although this sounds like a logical and intelligent strategy, this can result in costly mistakes that have long lasting consequences.

The last common situation we will use as an example is the family who needs to move because they have outgrown their house or their family has grown up and moved out leaving them in need to repurpose some home space.

In any of the cases, the family has chosen to stay in the house they currently own instead of purchase a different home.

Although these are different financial situations each owner should carefully evaluate the investment required to achieve their house remodel goals before they begin to interview remodel contractors.

We will reference these case situations as we discuss the best practices of hiring a contractor for remodeling.

A full-service contractor for home remodeling operates as a general contractor. They may be a self-performing contractor or they may use subcontractors or a combination of these operational methods.

As we will discuss, you will be best served to establish a working relationship with a contractor for remodeling as a trusted adviser and construction expert advocate.

Learn about the documents and factors required to properly hire a Houston contractor for home remodeling

Contractor for Home Remodeling

Do Your Homework to Plan & Prepare

In two of three situations we presented, there is normally sufficient time to anticipate the need for a remodeling contractor and make the preliminary arrangements for establishing a working relationship before the immediate need.

This practice serves several benefits during the planning and preparation phase. The first is that you have an expert for guidance and to answer your construction questions throughout your home discovery process.

Secondly your house remodeler will be able to provide you with budget estimates to use in determining the financial feasibility of different scenarios.

Major home remodeling is complicated and expensive. It requires a greater amount of due diligence then buying a home or a new car.

This is due to the many moving parts of a house remodel project. There are so many more things that can go wrong with a remodel project such as discovering hidden defects, escalating construction cost and non performing contractors.

If your house remodel is a major project, you will be required to prepare construction documents for permitting. These include at least architectural plans and can include structural and MEP drawings depending on the scope of work magnitude.

Collection of Design Ideas & Photo Images

It is important that the owner attempt to visualize their space they are planning to remodel. If this is not possible then the next best option is collecting photo images of products and design ideas that can be incorporated into your house remodel.

With the photo images and a general idea of the quantities associated with the proposed project, a well-founded project budget can be developed to assist in making the necessary decisions about the actual scope of work.

The collection of product information also serves another required priority in the house remodel process.

When the time frame becomes a challenge as in two of the case study scenarios, it is essential that the owner select the essential time critical products that can be made available as needed.

If they are not available, the remodeling plans can be adversely affected. Having an alternative product option or plan can overt a schedule problem.

Develop a Clearly Defined Project Scope of Work

The success of any house remodel starts with the numbers. The numbers are translated into dollars as the result of the material quantities and the required labor applied.

With the assistance of your general contractor guiding you through your remodel options you can evaluate most any complicated remodeling scenario.

This proves to be very resourceful during short cycle purchase feasibility study when evaluating a buy – sell – build analysis.

From a more practical advantage, owners commonly have a greater appetite for their wish list of home improvements than the capital available for the immediate house investment.

That is why it is a good practice to develop two list of home remodeling improvements. Begin with the creation of your wish list for the house remodel.

Then pair the list down to what your family actually needs. With the needs – wants list composed your contractor for home remodeling can prepare budget pricing for each list.

With the pricing in hand, you can compare your needs versus your wants to arrive at your remodel project solution.

The wish list items not included in immediate projects can be commenced in at a future date when funds or more time is available.

Houston Contractor for Home Remodeling

Selecting a Contractor for Home Remodeling

As mentioned earlier the selection of the contractor for home remodeling is an indispensable part of succeeding with your remodel project.

It would be a good idea to establish a relationship early in the process of finding a home or making an economic value decision about buying – building – renovating.

We will discuss a few of the important elements when aligning yourself with a remodeling contractor.

Work History – It is important that your remodeling contractor have a work history that reflects the type of remodel that your project will be undertaking.

This is critical because you will be counting on your remodel company to properly estimate the proposed scope of work.

Without this intimate knowledge the contractor for remodeling can only provide ball park estimates at best.

Insurance – Insurance is a key risk management element of any house remodel project.

This consist of general liability and workman’s compensation if the contractor is self-performing any of the work duties.

If a worker is hurt on the owner’s property during remodeling the remodel contractor or the owner becomes responsible if the subcontractor has no work comp.

It is also worth evaluating the need for builder’s risk policy if the project risk warrants it.

This is traditionally purchased by the property owner as additional protection not covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Accreditations – During the remodel contractor evaluation phase the owner should consider the remodeling contractors accreditations and affiliations for verifying professional accreditations memberships.

These can provide some evidence of your home remodeler continued education and commitment to their craft.

These organizations also require their members to follow a specific code of ethics in the industry.

Reviews & Ratings – In this day and age it is essential to review the remodeler’s past client’s testimonials and reviews.

These past customer comments will provide you with some expectation of what it will be like to work with the contractor for remodeling.

The owner can also use the reviews as a second opinion, by personally determining if these opinions are consistent with the owners’ impressions.

Contracts & Change Orders – There are many option forms to contract with your remodeling contractor.

From lump sum to cost plus, the contract should fit the owners and builders risk appropriately.

The best contract for design to build agreements is to use a design agreement contract through the design and pricing phase.

Once a budget has been agreed upon, the remodeler and owner can enter into a construction agreement.

Change orders are common to remodeling projects due to a large number of undiscovered factors.

Many other issues that come up around change orders are that they are not well administrated.

The owner loses a perspective on the total job cost or is unpleasantly surprised at the end of the job.

Proper execution and administrative practices can resolve many of these challenges.

Change orders as well as the different types of contracts should be discussed in great detail before commencing.


Hiring a contractor for home remodeling requires a great deal of planning and preparation before you actual contract with a remodeler.

Although a house remodel contractor can assist you with developing a clear scope of work, construction documents and a working budget, these are also tasks you will need to complete to request and obtain a contract proposal.

There are many factors to consider while you evaluate different remodelers but most importantly is hiring a house remodeler that is like minded and that you can trust.

This is because there will be ups and downs during the house remodel that will test the strength of your working relationship. If you hired for character and competence as a trusted adviser, you are more likely to complete the project without incident.

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