Choosing a design/build remodeler to manage all the pieces of your home project is one of the key components to success. They will know how to schedule the jobs efficiently, which subcontractors deliver proven quality work, and have an in-depth knowledge of current materials and finishes.
Before you even start to gather recommendations of remodelers, come up with a plan or a wish list for your project, plus an idea of what you are willing to spend on the project. Your wishes should guide the scope of the project.
When you have clear ideas of what you want, start looking for remodelers who can do the work. Ask neighbors, friends, and family who have been through the process for their suggestions. Check the local Remodelers Council website for those who are members in good standing, and check for current licensing.
When you find the remodeler with whom you feel most comfortable, check references and look carefully at their portfolio of past project photos. Ask to look at previously completed jobs in person, looking at quality of materials and finishes. Be sure to ask how problems were handled, if the workplace was kept neat, if other areas of the home were protected from dust and dirt, and if the work schedule was adhered to. What would the homeowner have done differently?
The remodeler of choice will then develop a design for a fee, and when the design is agreed upon, will submit a quote or bid.
If anyone providing a bid or estimate tries to pressure you or gives pricing that is only good for a few days, back away. A reputable contractor will be polite, will understand that you need time to make the decision, and will understand if you decide to use someone else. He will not pressure you to make a fast decision, although he likely is working on other jobs, and will not be able to start your project immediately. Negotiate timing, and have a clear understanding of the length of time that the project may take.
Selection of your remodeler and agreement on a design are the first two huge steps on the way to a more beautiful home and bringing your dreams to reality.