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Making The Right Choice When
It Comes To Home Builders and Remodeling Professionals
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
One of the most important, yet daunting decisions to be made
during a home building or remodeling project involves selecting the
right professionals. It is a known fact that the more time you put
into planning and selecting the professionals, the less amount of
problems you will run into during the process. Depending on the size
and difficulty of your project, you may choose to work with a number
of different professionals.
In today's world of home improvement, there are several unique
design professionals that should be carefully interviewed for your
project. You may find that you want one person to build your home,
but another to design it. Some firms may be equipped with the proper
professionals to take on the entire job. Specific questions should
be reserved for your interviewing process. These questions will
ensure that you are hiring the correct designer/builder for your
• If they are a local contractor, are they licensed and registered
with the state?
• How long have they been in business?
• Do they carry insurance? If so, what type?
• Can they provide recent, reliable references?
• Are they familiar with your budget?
• Do they understand your time and availability?
• Do you enjoy their personal taste revealed through past projects?
• How many projects similar to yours have they completed in the last
It is important to understand the different kinds of home builders
and remodeling professionals and what they specialize in. You want
to make sure that you are hiring the unique home builder and design
professional that is familiar with your project and can suit your
needs the best. Keep in mind, the title of the professional is not
as important as how well the individual understands your project and
fits your style.
Designers: Offering expertise in specific areas of the home, such as
an interior designer and kitchen and bathroom designers. Also,
residential designers are common for those who need help with
interior space planning. Always make sure to check for design
degrees and certifications.
Architects: Licensed in the art of designing, planning and
overseeing the construction of buildings. They are the most highly
trained design professionals, for a college degree and state
certification is mandatory.
General Contractors: They work with designers and architects.
General contractors are responsible for overseeing and managing all
aspects of the building and remodeling project. They will also hire
and supervise two to three subcontractors, specializing in different
Design/Build Contractors: This approach has become popular in recent
years because design/build contractors are responsible for both
design and construction. They will be working on your project from
start until end, making sure everything flows together properly.
This approach is also generally less expensive.
Specialty Contractors: This type of contractor is responsible for
installing specific products, such as kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
Structural Engineers: Required for any structural changes to an
existing building. They have the ability to design and analyze
structural aspects including the analysis of a building's proposed
structure, or existing structure, to verify that the method of
construction is sufficient to withstand local weather patterns,
earth movements, soil types, wind speeds, etc.. Also, structural
engineers must have a college degree in civil, mechanical, or