A home improvement contractor is a building professional who specializes in renovating existing residential sites. She can do all the work herself or subcontract part of the project to other artisans and contractors.
Some home improvement contractors are self-employed
Home improvement projects are normally as diverse as the people who hire contractors to do the job. A homeowner may need a contractor to do something as simple as a closet expansion or paint a bathroom, or they may have a whole house makeover in mind. A home improvement contractor frequently specializes in renovating certain rooms or is known for successfully incorporating a specific style into the decor of a home.
Whether the project is small or large, a home improvement contractor normally visits the homeowner to inspect the premises before preparing a quote. This first meeting allows him to assess the general condition of the house and examine the area to be redecorated. The owner usually asks the contractor for references or photos of previous projects at this stage as well.
The home improvement contractor
Normally prepares her bid after she and the potential client have clearly defined the parameters of the project. This may take several meetings as owners change their minds frequently as details are discussed and suggestions are made by the contractor. Once the fine points are finalized and the offer is signed by both parties, the project usually begins.
Depending on the scope of the project, the contractor may cordon off the construction area for health and safety reasons. If only one part is affected, this is usually not necessary. If the project is a whole-house renovation, residents normally move out for the duration of the renovation to avoid construction noise and disruption.
Owners generally check on the progress of the contractor’s work on a daily or semi-daily basis. A home improvement contractor is generally expected to respond to questions and concerns as the project develops. If there are delays caused by the availability of materials or labor or other unforeseen obstacles, the contractor is usually required to keep the homeowner informed. It is also expected that any cost overruns will be promptly reported and approved by the owner.
There are usually no formal education requirements for this job. A high school diploma or equivalent is normally preferred for job applicants. Math and communication skills are desirable for a home improvement contractor. Reference letters are usually required by potential clients. Many cities also require contractors to be licensed by a professional contractors association or home building quality assurance board.