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As with any other city, the residents of St. Louis have their own particular sense of style and tastes. This fact is as evident in the architectural style of the residential homes of the suburbs as it is in the skyscrapers of the downtown metro area. For this reason, project owners like to make most of the aesthetic decisions about their project themselves.
This means that the owner will choose the colors, the materials and the appliances for a project as well as its layout. Once that is done, the plans are given to the general contractor. A budget is then completed and submitted to the owner for review. Once authorized and initial down payment is made and the project is initiated.
As already mentioned, the GC will order the necessary materials and find the appropriate subcontractors. In addition, they will coordinate the activities of the people involved in the project and deal with all of the details. It is not a small task but one that an experienced GC can do with little trouble.
As the project nears completion, the GC will also coordinate the final inspection by the local building authorities to ensure that the work is “up to code” and meets all safety regulations. Once this stage is accomplished and the project is essentially complete, the GC will perform a final walkthrough with the project owner.
At this point, the owner has one final opportunity to point out any flaws he notices while the GC completes a “punch list” to remedy the problems. Once these issues are dealt with, the GC is technically done but the best ones in the St. Louis area will make a call back to the owner in two to three weeks to once again check that everything is satisfactory.
Finding a reputable general contractor may seem to be a daunting task to the home or office building owner with little construction experience. Most folks will simply rely on the advice of their neighbors or relations – or look one up online and hope for the best. These are not really the best strategy.
Instead, by investing some time and effort into the evaluation process, the project owner can reap huge rewards in terms of both decreasing the final cost, shortening the project timeline and lessening any anxiety and aggravation they will experience during the process.
To start, a homeowner should check these resources before making even an initial final decision on which home contractor to use:
The local Chamber of Commerce
Better Business Bureau rating
Local – and we mean “local” like in your subdivision – references
The State of Missouri also enforces fairly stringent regulations for the licensing of general contractors. Be sure that the one you choose is in total compliance or may be sorry for a variety of reasons. The few phone calls it takes to verify a contractor’s government-approved credentials will give you peace of mind. In addition, a homeowner should also check several local references provided by the contractor.
This last task often involves more than just a phone call. If possible, ask the references if you can stop by and examine the work for yourself. It is easily the best way to gauge the quality of the workmanship delivered by the GC and his subcontractors. In short, finding a good general contractor takes work but is well worth the effort.
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What value does a general contractor bring?
While the residents of the city of St.Louis and the rest of the “Show Me” State have long relied on their own talents to get things done, those looking to have their kitchen, bathroom or other room in their house should consider the use of a professional – a general contractor – to get the job done.
A general contractor – or GC as they are more informally known – has the requisite expertise, resources and practical experience to handle everything involved in a remodeling project from the mundane to the unexpected. Finding a competent and reliable GC is not always an easy task however. There many factors for the project owner to consider. Here is a quick rundown on the most important questions that a home or office building owner should consider:
In Greater St. Louis area, residential and commercial contracting companies are routinely used to oversee a home or apartment remodeling project because they relieve the project owner from having to oversee any number of subcontractors, vendors and inspectors. Generally they are given complete control over the day-to-day aspects of the construction project once the plans are finalized and approved by the project owner.
The owner will then only meet with the GC on an ad hoc basis or at specified times – known as milestones – to inspect the work and make payment for that or the next stage of the project. The value in this part if the process is that it saves the project owner a great deal of time and aggravation.
The GC’s responsibilities often include a number of specific duties. In general, the GC will create an timeline so that the project owner knows when the project will be complete. In particular, the GC will start by ordering the necessary materials and scheduling them for delivery at the appropriate times. In addition, they will hire and schedule the necessary subcontractors – that is, the people who will actually do the physical construction work.
As mentioned, the GC will also collect payments from the project owner and then disburse these funds to the subcontractors. He keeps a portion for himself in payment for his own services. Finally, the GC will interact with the local building authorities to ensure that all permitting and inspection of the work is done in a timely manner. The value in this part if the process is that it saves the project owner a great deal of money and problems with the local building department.
A second, equally important aspect of the home GC’s role is to act as an intermediary between the project owner and the subcontractors. While the project is being completed, the homeowner may be tempted to intercede with a subcontractor if they notice something they do not like or want to change. While the subcontractor will most likely listen, they will usually not do anything until they speak to their actual employer – the GC.
It is important for the project owner to understand this point as repeated interruptions will only delay the completion of their remodeling project and probably increase its costs. Instead, the owner should communicate their concerns to the GC and let the professional do the job he is being paid for.
One other caveat – change orders can be accommodated once a project has been started but they always entail a cost increase in the job and can seriously wreck a budget if done late in the project timeline. The value for the project owner here is that the GC can bring their considerable experience to bear on any problem or change to keep the costs down.
Whether you have your own plans and drawings or you need a full service project.
Whether you have small or large bathroom. Change of floor plan options.
Whether you have small or large k