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How To Choose A Contractor To Ensure The Best Remodel

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21+ years of industry experience

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Are you looking to choose a contractor to work on your home? There’s a few things you should know before a company before you decide to work with them.

In the video below, I’m telling you exactly what to do to ensure your remodeling experience will go as planned. 

Press the play button and watch me talking about the secret to choosing the perfect contractor for you project!

But if you don’t have time for a video, here’s everything black on white.

Get Ready To Do Some Research

You’ve decided that now is the time – you are going to give that bathroom a facelift or improve the traffic in a challenging kitchen. Now you need to choose a contractor, but not any contractor.

There are dozens of general contractors in Knoxville or East Tennessee, so how do you choose the best one out there? Who best to oversee the project and deliver your finished dream?

Let’s start with 7 tips for getting the best contractor for your project.

1. Get Recommendations

One of the most important things you need to do is get recommendations. Start with family and friends.

If they’ve recently remodeled, ask them about their experiences, both good and bad. Aunt Cassie may have the perfect general contractor for you while her neighbor may have several contractors for you to avoid. Your husband’s coworker may have a story about the remodeling contractor he used, and the company he wished he had used instead.

Point is, you need to go out there and test the grounds before deciding upon someone. A reputable contractor should get recommendations and referrals from all his past customers, as long as they were happy with the work they had done.

2. Do Your Research

Before you choose a contractor, go online and investigate your candidates. For many of us, it’s our first instinct. BBB, Google, and social media are just a few places to look in:

Choose a contractor for a cozy bathroom with dark floor

3. Interview the candidates

Time to make some calls. From your list of possibilities, get answers to the following questions:

The responses to these questions will show: readiness to work with you, how much attention they would give your project, experience with kitchens, baths, or others, and what their values are.

Before you choose a contractor to sign up with, get multiple bids from other contractors and look for the best deal. However, remember that the best deal is not always the best contractor. Ensure the price reflects the quality of their work, but don’t cut corners on materials or installation.

4. Meet face to face

At this point, you are narrowing your list. Pick 3 or 4 contractors to meet. You are looking for a smooth rapport: someone willing to answer your questions in a manner that puts you at ease.

Be sure to understand their process: that is, how the company works and communicates with its clients.

At Lakeview Home Improvements, we ask our clients to complete an online project brief. Homeowners sketch out the parameters of the project. The process helps the homeowner to focus their thinking. In turn, Lakeview staff can answer your questions better. Bonus: a more accurate cost estimate.

5. Check References

Call up former clients and ask how their project went. You can even request to visit and see the finished product.

You may also wish to visit a current job site, to check the contractor’s work. Is the job site neat and well maintained? Are workers observing safety protocols? Remember, these same workers would be in your home.

A good think to do is look at where are the building materials? Are they keeping everything safe in a trailer, or outside? You’ll have to store the materials if you want to keep them away from any danger.

6. Firm Up Your Plans

Conscientious contractors insist on a complete set of blueprints before starting any work. Spending time and money on the front end will yield more efficiencies as the project rolls out.

Also, understand and set up a payment plan. For large projects, the contractor may require 10-25 percent of the total upfront. Subsequent payments will be spread over the course of the project. Generally, a final 15 percent will be due at completion.

Modern contractors use technology to communicate schedule progress. Look for use of tools such as Buildertrend or JobTread. Your password provides entry to the project schedule, updated daily. You also see photos of material delivery, installations, and more. Over the weeks, your project blossoms onscreen, sparing you from regular visits to the job site.

We recommend establishing some ground rules as well. This might be an awkward discussion, but it’ll save you from a lot of stress and frustrations down the road.

7. Get It in Writing

Your contractor should provide a final contract. It will list each step of the project, such as:

Having the details clear to all parties ensures a smooth project and successful renovation.

Our staff at Lakeview Home Improvements will help you achieve your dream space. We specialize in kitchen and bath renovations and our ultimate goal is to deliver the best end product you’ve ever seen. We understand the do’s and don’ts, the best practices, the building codes, and we know how to execute a remarkable classic kitchen design.

For more information on your unique kitchen or bath project, contact us.

A medium sized bath with a double vanity and glass shower


The general contractor hiring process can be a daunting task. It could be your biggest mistake, but it could also be your greatest success. One contractor will always be better than the other, but there’s no way knowing without proper research.

The right contractor will make your home improvement project go smooth. He’ll get you quality materials at the best price, accurate price estimates and timelines, and he’ll get your project done in a timely manner.

If you want to learn more about how we executed the best remodeling projects in Knoxville and East Tennessee, give us a ring at (865) 801-4545 or request your free quote!