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Find a home renovation professional near you

12 near you

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.

Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.

How can I find out if a general contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.

Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Can I use digital payments to pay for general contractor services?

Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.

Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.

Do general contractors offer remote or virtual services?

General contractors perform manual work and typically need to be present to complete their projects. However, if you come across a profile that states the contractor is offering remote services, ask what those services include. You can also ask if they can perform a consultation via video call and if they can do the job while following guidelines from the CDC and local agencies.

Is it worth remodeling an old home?

It depends on the home’s condition and what you plan to do with it. For example, if you plan to live in the home for a long time, performing renovations could make the home more livable and enjoyable. If your intention is to resell it, it might be worth the time, money and effort. Old homes typically cost less than new ones, giving you a built-in budget to perform the renovations. The home’s unique character might even provide a significant boost in value once the renovations have brought the rest of it up to date.

However, you need to conduct research to fully answer this question. Figure out how much it will cost to remodel the old home and decide if the return on investment is enough for you.

Where do I start when renovating a house?

The first step is making a detailed plan for your home improvement project, which includes researching designs and appliances, and creating blueprints. Next, work out an exact budget for your home renovation, allowing extra money for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Search for home renovation and remodeling contractors and make your decision after interviewing three to five promising candidates. Finally, make a timeline for the project, then begin packing up and preparing for the renovation to start.

How much does it cost to completely renovate a house?

Some homeowners pay as much as $25,000 to remodel a home. But you can pay more or less depending on:

  • The age of the home. Older homes tend to involve more work to update. 
  • The size of the home. Larger homes tend to cost more to renovate than smaller ones.
  • The condition of the home. Homes requiring structural changes or architectural plans will also cost more to renovate. 

Additional cost factors include building permits, as well as the costs of the required materials, paints, and flooring materials and labor. To get a better understanding of how much your home renovation will cost, discuss your project with several remodeling contractors and ask for price estimates.

Also read, “How much does a remodel cost?

How can I renovate my house cheaply?

There are a number of highly effective, budget-friendly renovations you can perform on your home. Here are some ideas to consider: 

  • Pressure wash your home’s exterior
  • Paint your front door
  • Replace your light fixtures
  • Get new door knobs 
  • Remove your popcorn ceiling
  • Add new wallpaper
  • Paint your kitchen cabinets 

And the list goes on. Chat with a few professionals to figure out how much your desired home renovations will cost you. If the prices exceed your budget, ask if the pros can suggest alternative upgrades that are more affordable.

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