Choosing a Remodeler

What should I do to find a remodeler?

To find a good remodeler, is not just a matter of opening the yellow pages. Years ago, When I was growing up, we found a bunch of stuff in the phone book.

I also bought a Playboy puzzle at a garage sale for a dime.

That was then, this is now.

The world is different!

Today, it is wasted money to advertise in a phone directory, as the world has indeed changed. Also, gone are the days of selling a playboy puzzle to a ten-year-old at a garage sale.

And that is probably a good thing.

You would probably get arrested if you did that now.

If you ONLY advertise your remodeling business in the phone book, you should also be arrested.

Fortunately, no one gets arrested for spending money on an investment with a bad return.

The world no longer uses, a fat, tree killing, makes a good door stop, slabs of pages with print so small that even at ten years old, I needed a magnifying glass to read. Oh, and a bunch of unsuspecting ants.

No, the world advertises in bathroom stalls, bus sidewalls, and the boards at a hockey game. Every square inch of the world is a billboard, if an advertiser figures out how to sell it. Selling your services is a huge industry.  Some things work better than others, Not all things work for all people.

MOST of the world’s developed nation’s populace  is all on the  cyberwebber. Except my mother…she still refuses to get on the internets…

That is why I said most.

“But mom, You can find ANY thing on the interwebber…they even have video phoning! I think there is a webber site that sell flying cars, too!”

One great way to find a remodeler is to ask your friends who they used, on their Awesome Addition, Beautiful Bath, Dynamic Deck, Kool Kitchen,  Mantastic Mancave, or Wonderous Womancave.

I would avoid hiring family, in most cases, it is a recipe for disaster.  

Most of the time, if the remodeler is any good at shameless self-promotion, they will have left a card or two, or some way for the previous customers to pimp them out. 

They may even have a referral program…(details coming soon!)

Another great way is to ask the people at the pro desk or counter (in a hometown hardware store). They will know some remodelers that trade there frequently, and hence should have a relationship with them. The guys that are out buying materials are the guys that are doing the work!

The newest way to find anything is the internet. Social networking is the buzz. There are places like Craigslist with ads for people trying to find work and people to do the work and Angie’s List, a site designed to have previous customers leave glowing recommendations of your work.

The state of Michigan LARA/builders has some good information as well. go here

Two sites I have used for finding remodel leads are Reliable Remodeler and Service Magic. You should find a decent remodeler at these sites because the remodeler has to PAY for each lead, irrelevant of if you are dreaming or are serious. The odds are that you will get a call right a way to set up and appointment to come and see your project and the remodeler will be competing with at least 3 other qualified others.

There are also Web-Pages, weblogs,  and YouTube videos.

You can also leave a big box of donuts out overnight. Remodelers love donuts. You will attract many many remodelers. The problem is getting a remodeler to work while there is a big box of donuts lying around.

Oh and the crumbs.

A good remodeler cleans your remodel site daily!

My favorite way is to go to the local Home Builders Show.

It is  like going to a petting zoo. Without all the weird animal smells and screaming kids….Well…There are still some of each, but I think you get my point…

You can actually meet and talk to the different remodelers, builders, and tradesmen. Most times they will have testimonials and picture of their work.

And they can meet you.

Which is almost as important as having a budget.

And a big checkbook!

The West Michigan Home and Garden Show

March 6-9 2014

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Posted in planning budgeting dreaming
2 comments on “Choosing a Remodeler
  1. Insightful and helpful, not just for remodelling, but also for virtually every business. As a self-employed person of 30 years I can safely say the best referral comes from an existing client.

    I have never advertised in a phonebook. One way I did find clients was offering to talk about my services at various group functions, whereby I would have a draw for “something” – usually a service plus product. This was always highly successful.

    In fact, I can say I’ve never had an advertising budget.

    As to not using family to renovate I think that is sound advice. I have had my brother, a contractor/builder, work “with me” on my home renovations. While it did result in some tension I think in my case it has worked. But I too don’t encourage family and friends to be my clients; seems there’s always a string attached.

    Great post!
    Jenny

  2. We do think alike. Great MINDS! and all that!

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