Finding the right contractor is pivotal for the success of your home remodeling project. Working with a contractor that you are comfortable with, who communicates well, provides you with a comprehensive contract, a sensible payment schedule, who has great references, and who is fully licensed and insured are the key traits of a reputable, conscientious and professional home remodeling company.

Check on line reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers. sk friends, family and neighbors for referrals, then spend time researching that company on line. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously. you can never ask too many questions when it comes to protecting your family and home.

Contractors maintain credentials beyond licensing such as certifications and memberships in trade associations. They participate in specified training programs provided by manufacturers, who are also great resources for local contractors that specialize in their products. 

Call the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (by calling 311) or visit their website at or make sure the contractor you are considering is licensed. Call the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any consumer complaints made on the contractor.

When interviewing a professional remodeler, ask about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work with regard to your project. Check their references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling those providers to verify the information provided. Request a visit to an active client’s job site. Make it known that you are checking on the company – a true professional considers that as a positive sign when working with a homeowner. 

A general contracting firm will facilitate your entire project. The scope of work may include subcontractors, including; plumbers, electricians, HVAC installers, tile installers, roofing and siding installers, to name a few.  It is important that you are provided information about all the contractors that will be on your job site. Their references and workmanship should be just as good as the general contractor you have hired.

Subcontractors are essential in providing specialized services for your project. Licensed plumbers and electricians may be used if you are completely renovating a bathroom or kitchen, or if you are adding onto your home.  A HVAC company may be needed if you are renovating duct-work or replacing your heating or air conditioning system.

Don’t be afraid to share your budget concerns with your contractor. Professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it. Remember, your budget needs to include; the proposed cost by the contractor and architect, all products and materials you are responsible to purchase independent of the contract, contingencies and the potential of unforeseen existing conditions.

Prior to selecting your contractor, you should consult with an architect to identify if your project will need to be filed and permitted by the NYC Department of Buildings. Construction work without permits can lead to violations and stop work orders that will hinder your project. A reputable, local contractor, who is familiar with building code, will be able to determine if your project must be filed as well.

After selecting a contractor that you are comfortable with, it is important to review your contract word by word. Contracts should provide specific details about your project, the materials that will be used, your responsibilities as a homeowner if you will be providing materials for the job, warranty information, and a payment schedule based on benchmarks of completed items. Your contract not only protects you, it also protects your remodeler.

Homeowners are not as familiar with the remodeling process as the contractor they hire. It is important to ask questions about terms, or unfamiliar processes if you are not clear what they mean. Pay attention to the details about change orders, payments, additional fees, timelines and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.

Make sure your contractor understands your concept for the remodel. Use websites such as and to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your architect, contractor or designer. Professionals may not be able to recreate a photo, but they ca incorporate our concept, functionality, style and value to fit your project.

Deciding on products and materials for your home remodel is an important process, as some of your choices may create a delay in the project. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to be extended. Included in your contract should be the selections you have made for materials and products, and the allowances your contractor has provided for the materials they are purchasing on your behalf.  

Once you hire your contractor, create a communication channel. A common downfall of a renovation is the lack of communication between homeowners and contractors. Timelines should be provided for payments to the contractor which directly relay to the progress made on the project. In addition, you should clarify he oles f all subcontractors, suppliers, and workers. Make sure you are comfortable with the communication methods, and the availability and frequency of communication that is expected.

For any questions about your remodeling project, you can contact HIC of Staten Island by e-mail at [email protected].