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Bottom Line Up Front

  • Look for a contractor who specializes in the project you’re planning—like bathrooms, kitchens or patios.
  • Ask for an estimate before you hire your contractor.
  • Review your contractor’s online portfolio or ask for examples of their work.

Time to Read

4 minutes

May 22, 2023

Renovating your home can have major benefits, like making it more functional and suited to your style and tastes. A renovation can also increase your home’s value. Regardless of why you’re renovating, you want to be sure the project is done right. Hiring a professional remodeling contractor is the best way to ensure a successful outcome. Before you choose your contractor, do some research to find one that’s a good fit. 

Getting answers to these questions is a great way to start.

Things to Look For in a Contractor

What’s Their Construction Specialty?

Not all contractors offer total-home construction services. Many will specialize in certain areas of the home, like kitchens, bathrooms or landscaping. Search for contractors that have previous experience renovating the area of the home you’re focusing on. For example, if you want to renovate the bathroom, you’ll need a contractor with plumbing experience. Also consider whether you need unique services for your renovation, such as specialty tiling.

How Much Do They Cost?

Ask for cost estimates that cover the scope of the project. Compare bids that fit within your budget to determine who’s offering the best deal. Keep in mind that the lowest bid isn’t always the best choice. Look for a fair price that balances the contractor’s cost and experience.

How Much Experience Do They Have?

Seasoned contractors know how to overcome challenges and produce top-quality results. Interview the contractors you’re considering and ask questions about their experience. Review their online portfolios or ask for examples of past projects to see if the results line up with your expectations.


Do They Have Positive Reviews?

Many people find home remodeling contractors through references from family and friends. You might also need to do some research on your own to find the right contractor for your project. No matter where you discover them, take time to read reviews and ask for references from previous clients. Learn about the clients’ experiences and whether they were happy with the results.

Are They Licensed and Insured?

Any contractor you hire should be licensed and insured to operate in your state. Licensure indicates that the contractor is reliable and knowledgeable about the services they offer. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you risk being scammed or getting a poor-quality result. Insurance covers the contractor in the event of an injury or property damage, so you’re not liable if an emergency occurs. Before you sign a contract, ask the contractor for proof of their credentials and verify their licenses with your local government.

Using Home Equity to Hire a Contractor

It’s especially important to choose a reliable contractor when you’re using a home equity loan  or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to cover the costs of your renovation. A home equity loan or HELOC gives you access to the equity in your home, using your home as collateral.  

Adding value through high-quality upgrades and renovations can increase your home’s value and build more equity. 

Explore Your Options 

Deciding to remodel your home is just the beginning. The next step is deciding how you’re going to pay for it. Check out Navy Federal’s Home Project Financing Center to learn more about financing options.


This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.