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What is a Home Renovation Contractor?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A home renovation contractor is a building professional who specializes in remodeling existing residential sites. She may do all the work herself or subcontract parts of the project to other craftspeople and contractors. Some home renovation contractors are self-employed and some work for general contracting companies or home building and remodeling specialists.

Home renovation projects are normally as diverse as the people who hire contractors to do the work. 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-home makeover in mind. A home renovation contractor frequently specializes in remodeling certain rooms or is known for successfully incorporating a specific style into a home’s décor.

Whether the project is small or large, a home renovation contractor normally visits the homeowner to inspect the premises before she prepares a bid. This initial meeting allows her to assess the overall condition of the home and examine the area to be redecorated. The homeowner commonly asks the contractor for references or photos of past projects at this point as well.

The home renovation contractor normally prepares her bid after she and the prospective client clearly define the parameters of the project. This may take several meetings as owners frequently change their minds as details are discussed and suggestions are made by the contractor. Once the fine points are finalized and the bid is signed by both parties, the project typically gets started.

Depending on the scope of the project, the contractor may cordon off the construction area for health and safety reasons. If only one room is involved, this is not generally necessary. If the project is a whole-house renovation, the residents normally move out for the duration of the remodeling to avoid the noise and disruption of the construction.

Homeowners typically check on the progress of the contractor’s work on a daily or semi-daily basis. A home renovation contractor is generally expected to answer questions and concerns as the project develops. If there are delays caused by material or manpower availability or other unforeseen obstacles, the contractor is customarily expected to keep the home’s owner informed of them. Any cost overruns are also generally expected to be promptly reported to and approved by the homeowner.

There are no typically no formal educational requirements for this job. A high school diploma or equivalent is normally preferred for job applicants. Skills in math and communications are desirable for a home renovation contractor. Letters of reference are generally required by prospective customers. Many cities and towns also require contractors to be licensed by a professional contractors’ association or home construction quality assurance board.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon344764 — On Aug 12, 2013

Thanks for all the great advice. I need to find a good contractor for my home renovation in Seattle. Thanks for all of your help.

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