As more people choose to stay in their own homes as they get older, they are considering how to make their homes safe and comfortable for their changing needs. Bathroom remodels are a large undertaking in any home, and when planning to create a bathroom that will work for you and your family for years to come, you want to hire the right contractor.
The baby boomer generation has become one of the largest segments of the residential remodeling industry, so a program has been designed to provide advice and expertise in special remodeling considerations. The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program was developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center, 50+ Housing Council and AARP. Contractors who are a part of CAPS means that they are educated in customer service skills, technical skills and business management for home modifications for aging-in-place.
Hiring a CAPS certified contractor will give homeowners the confidence that they are making the right choice. These experts can also suggest options that make the home more conducive to friends or family members visiting, even when homeowners don’t anticipate the need for themselves. These changes will benefit homeowners in the future without requiring another remodel project.
In addition to CAPS certification, you can find qualified remodeling professionals through your local Home Builders Association. Request a list of members with aging-in-place remodeling experience. A local Occupational Therapist may also be able to recommend qualified professionals with a good reputation.
When it’s time to choose the right contractor for your project, what should you look for to make sure they will be a good fit?
- Have a plan – If you have an idea of what you want before you start talking to contractors, you can narrow down requests for skills, materials and estimates. You don’t need to have all the answers now, but having a list of what you are considering will make your conversations more productive.
- Ask people you trust – Ask friends, co-workers or family who’ve had a positive remodeling experiences for suggestions on who to contact, and ask them what they liked about working with them. Having this input will help you prepare constructive questions when you interview potential contractors.
- Interview three people – It’s best to interview three prospective contractors, even if you find a single recommendation rising to the top. Ask detailed questions and get estimates that you can compare to one another. This will help you negotiate items before you sign a contract.
- Be prepared, they may not be able to start right away – often the best teams are busy working on other jobs. If you can wait for your ideal team, you may benefit from having scheduling flexibility.
- Do your homework – be sure to check on your local requirements for licenses, and determine if your first choice has up to date credentials. Also, check for any litigation or complaints that may have occurred in the past. They might not be a deal breaker, but it would be to your benefit to know the information ahead of time.
- Sign a detailed contract – make sure that your contract lays out the important details such as deadlines, material specifications, model numbers, and payment schedules. This will help both parties to be on the same page with expectations.
- Leave room in the budget for surprises – don’t sign a contract for the complete budget you allotted in your remodel plans. It’s a good idea to leave approximately 10 to 15% of your budget for unexpected repairs that are found during the remodeling process.
- Verify insurance coverage – know what your homeowners coverage entails, and get a copy of your contractors business insurance policy information.
- Negotiate ground rules – remodels can force you to change the way you live for the duration of the project, so working out ground rules in advance can help you to set expectations that both parties can live with. These could include; working hours, advance notice for changes that need to take place, a schedule to expect communication updates, daily clean up goals, and access for crew members during the project.
- Final payment when project is complete – as the job starts to wind down crews may move on to the next project as the final details are attended to. Make sure that you are 100% satisfied with the entire remodel upon final payment. This includes having all the necessary receipts and lien releases finalized.
Hiring the right contractor for your remodel project will help you to make the most of your aging-in-place plans. If we can provide any information or ideas to help with your aging-in-place remodel, please contact us at 1-877-947-7769 for expert customer service. View easy-to-install accessible showers and other great products at www.FreedomShowers.com