Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

When you’re looking for a home remodeler, you want to be practical, but you also want to love your home once the work is finished and the work crews have gone.  The unknown factor is whether you’ll still be in love with the renovation years down the road.

Home renovation companies demonstrate dramatic before and after transformations, show gorgeous photos, and offer convincing testimonials.  So how do you choose? Do you:

  • Check to make sure your contractor is licensed, insured and bonded?
  • Check that they have Workman’s Compensation insurance?
  • Count the number of, and compare reviews?
  • Check references?
  • Make sure the renovation company is listed with the BBB?
  • Rely on word-of-mouth reputation?
  • Look for employee/subcontractor background checks?
  • Determine how many similar sized projects they have completed in the last year?
  • Clarify what type of project management they offer?
  • Think about safety, privacy, and security of your family during the project?
  • Find out how they will keep the rest of your home clean during construction?

You’re going to invest considerable time, inconvenience, and money and you will have to live with the completed product for many years.  While some of these methods may go a long way to help you make up your mind, what is the real acid test for choosing a renovator that you will be happy with today, tomorrow, and years from now? Is there something concrete that you can rely on TODAY to ensure there is an ongoing love affair with your home in the future?

Yes, there is! It’s not glamorous, but it might be the single most important criterion in selecting a partner. It is a concrete, bankable measure of future satisfaction.  It is called a warranty. It is a written, legal commitment to stand behind the work performed and to make things right if they go wrong, even years down the road.  Some people suggest that you start the search by looking at warranties before looking at photos, testimonials, and estimates.  People tend to do the opposite – they look at warranties as a final decision factor to select a winner.

Georgia law requires that contractors provide a written warranty on any job over $2,500, so don’t be afraid to ask for it up front. Specifically, you’re looking for two things:

  • What is covered?
  • For how long?

Here is what else you should keep in mind:

  • The minimum standard on labor and workmanship is 1 year. You should expect more than the minimum standard.  How about 2 years? How about 5 years? Any home remodeler, like Quality Craftsmen, that goes to this length shows that they are professional, there for the long run, are willing to stand behind their quality work, and that they are competitive.
  • Materials, appliances, and windows are usually covered separately by the manufacturers’ warranty. Get the facts on these warranties as their terms vary widely.
  • Over and above warranties on materials and labor, some contractors will offer longer term commitments on any work that impacts major structural safety. You want this.
  • Did your general contractors hire any subcontractors to do any specialized work such as stone masonry, painting, or drywall? Is this specialized work covered under the general contractor’s warranty? Make sure you ask these questions and determine who is responsible, for how long, and for how much.
  • If you find yourself out of the home before the expiration term of the warranty, is the warranty transferable to the next owner? If you’re doing the work on your home in order to sell, a transferable warranty is a major benefit to a future homeowner.

There are many home renovation companies in the Atlanta area with honest, hard working, quality crews. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the homeowner to sift through appearance and word-of-mouth where it comes to warranties. A 1- or 2-year warranty may sound good, but that type of warranty merely skims the surface. It does not provide the lifeline you may need for the long-term love affair with one of the most expensive things you will ever purchase or remodel. Quality Craftsmen’s 5 Year Warranty is transferable and is among the very few exceptions to the industry standard 1 year.