Best Home Improvement Contractors
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Updated on 03/01/2018
Deciding who will design, work on and complete your home improvement or business remodeling project is an important decision. The home improvement contractor you hire will manage the project from start to finish. They’ll oversee all aspects including time management, budget and safety. They’ll also manage subcontractors as needed. In addition to being efficient and doing great work, your home improvement contractor needs to be trustworthy.
Compare Reviews for Top Home Improvement Contractors
Read 17320 Reviews
HomeAdvisor started in 1998 under the name ServiceMagic, Inc. It rebranded to HomeAdvisor in 2012. Today they connect millions of customers with local contractors across the United States.
Read 1030 Reviews
Founded in 1979, Merry Maids is a franchised company now owned by ServiceMaster. It offers house and apartment cleaning services across a network of over 1,000 worldwide locations.
|Power Home Remodeling|
Read 549 Reviews
Since 1992, Power Home Remodeling Group has been at the forefront of energy-saving home remodels. Using the latest in home efficiency technology, Power Home delivers one-on-one service to help you improve your home.
|Four Seasons Sunrooms & Windows|
Read 699 Reviews
Founded in 1975 as a greenhouse supplier, Four Seasons Sunrooms is now a leading supplier of greenhouses, screen enclosures, year-round sunrooms and solariums. Headquartered in Holbrook, New York, it provides services worldwide.
|Home Makeover Systems|
Read 304 Reviews
Offers water softeners and conditioners. Its saltless softener water system is non-electric and applies downflow and double backwash methods. Uses diagnostics for consistent water quality and comes with lifetime warranty.
Read 248 Reviews
This service matches you with a local home improvement professional. You sign up for a free account, answer a few questions about your project and receive free estimates and contact information for any project you have.
Read 1685 Reviews
Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing has been providing basement waterproofing services for over 50 years. They have completed over 15,000 jobs including waterproofing, foundation repair and water damage repair.
Read 260 Reviews
Thumbtack was established in 2009. It connects customers with qualified, local professionals who offer a wide range of services from home contractors to dog trainers.
Read 439 Reviews
Founded in 1935, Roto-Rooter is the largest provider of plumbing and drain-cleaning services in the United States. It operates around 100 company-owned branches and approximately 500 franchises across North America.
Read 240 Reviews
ServPro provides water, fire and storm damage solutions as well as mold remediation and commercial services. It is family-owned and has had the same ownership for over 40 years.
What to consider when choosing a contractor
How big is your project?
The type of home improvement contractor you need will depend on the size and scope of your project. Larger jobs may require multiple contractors to complete all aspects of the work, whereas smaller jobs might only require one specialty contractor you can easily manage yourself.
- Large scale: Large scale projects include major home or business renovations or remodeling. They typically last for months at a time and involve hiring a general contractor to manage multiple subcontractors.
- Small scale: Small scale projects usually involve one or two specialty contractors working on a specific repair or remodel. Projects like bathroom remodels might only need a plumber and a tile layer to complete. Smaller projects usually last anywhere from one week to a month.
- Handywork: Any minor repairs or quick renovation projects such as fixing plumbing issues or painting the exterior of your house might only require you to hire a freelance or independent contractor.
How credible is your contractor?
A contractor’s credibility should play a significant role when you’re hiring someone for a project.
- Licensing: Licensing is among the most important things to consider when choosing a contractor. To avoid any financial risk, make sure a contractor is properly licensed in the state where they’re working. Specialty contractors should be licensed for their area of expertise, and general contractors should be “B” licensed, meaning they can either perform all types of work needed for one job or hire subcontractors to do specialty work.
- Background screening: Many contractor locator/review companies extensively screen each contractor they list on their site. They make sure each company goes through a sex offender search, criminal records search and an identity verification, as well as a state business filing review.
- Credibility tips: As a homeowner or business owner, you should always ask for a copy of each contractor’s license to verify they are compliant within the state they are working. Ask for references and find out if the contractor is insured in case an accident happens on the job site.
How reputable is your contractor?
Carefully review a contractor’s reputation before finalizing a plan and contract. Whether it's through an online contractor locating company or from a company's website, make sure you read reviews and fact check references.
- Reviews: Most online contractor locator/review companies have verified reviews for each contractor listed on their site.
- References: Ask for 3-5 references from the contractor you are interested in working with. Follow up with each one, asking them how their project went from start to finish and if they had any issues.
- Established: Look for an established company that has a long list of projects you can check out.
What should you include in the contract?
One of the most important things to work out with a contractor is the contract itself. A contract should outline the scope of the work including project due dates, final pricing and how to handle changes and resolve issues. The contract might take some time to finalize, but it will be your reference point throughout the project. Be as detailed and thorough as possible.
- Payment schedule: The agreed upon contract should be your reference point for how much and when you should pay for completed work. Having payments tied to various due dates within a project ensures the overall job keeps progressing. Try to negotiate a first payment of no more than 10 percent. This ensures the work is being done on schedule without overpaying for only a small portion of the job.
- Start and end dates: Sometimes a contractor won’t specify a start and end date, so think about putting those in writing before the contract is finalized. Delays will most likely happen no matter what, but a target end date will ensure the job stays as close to the agreed upon due date as possible.
- Arbitration options: A lot of construction and remodeling contracts have a section stating who will settle disputes, should they arise. You should both agree on a well-respected national arbitrator like the American Arbitration Association.
What should be communicated up front?
Communication with your contractor is key during your entire project. Make sure you know the best way to keep in contact by asking if they prefer daily emails, cloud-based calendars or phone calls. Set up weekly check-ins, and walk through your home improvement or renovation project in person to see progress and discuss challenges.
- Change orders: Expect changes to happen during the life of any project. Make sure any change orders are communicated with you first before they are added to the contract.
- Decisions: Have your contractor give you a list of decisions you will need to make throughout the project. Know your deadlines and keep a list of materials you will need ahead of time to keep the project moving with minimal interruption.
- Insurance: Contractors should carry at least a minimum liability policy. If they don’t have any workers compensation in place and something happens on the job, you might be liable.
- Emergencies: Make sure your contractor will be available in case of an emergency. This includes being available after hours should something major come up, like a water or gas leak.
What types of contractors are available for hire?
Depending on how big your renovation project is, you might consider hiring a general contractor to manage the construction site. General contractors will manage all vendors and subcontractors throughout the entirety of a project.
If you have a small-scale project requiring one service like plumbing or electrical work, you might consider a specialty contractor. Specialty contractors have a license to perform repairs and installations in a specific field.
Independent contractors can enter into a contract to perform services but are not legally considered employees. They work for a specified period of time stated in the contract and are usually paid hourly.
Designers and architects can be contracted to design homes, additions and renovations that involve structural changes. In some cases, you can find a design/build contractor who does both.
Who needs a contractor?
Homeowners looking to remodel
A home improvement contractor will help you take on home renovations or remodels. They’ll manage your project and make sure it’s done right.
Business owners wanting to renovate
As a business owner, you might need to renovate building space or remodel your current space. General and specialty contractors can help you tackle office space fixer uppers so they’re done the right way.
Expert reviews for home improvement contractors
This service is an online marketplace that connects homeowners to professionals in home repair, maintenance and improvement. After you answer a few questions about your current project, this service will determine which professionals in the database match your needs and price.
- Free to use: You do not have to pay to use this service. Get matched with a professional quickly without spending any money.
- Project cost guides: You can access online price guides for potential projects. This page helps you see average costs for the service you need to help you keep an eye on your budget.
- Home Assistant: You get access to a virtual Home Assistant that can help answer questions you have about home maintenance or repair.
- Get matched in your area: If the service can’t find one of its partnered companies to assist you with your home project, it will look for independent contractors in your local network to make sure you get the job done.
- Best for: people who need help with home improvement projects.
Remodel Works Bath & Kitchen offers comprehensive remodeling services from design through construction and clean-up. As member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, Remodel Works has served more than 8,000 satisfied customers in the San Diego area. Remodel Works helps homeowners plan and execute residential renovations, room additions, bathroom remodels and custom closets and garages.
- Expert design: Remodel Works has experienced designers on staff to assist with all kitchen and bath renovations and other residential remodeling projects.
- Customized storage: Designers can create custom storage solutions for closets and garages, helping clients maximize available space.
- Established track record: With thirty years of industry experience, Remodel Works is an established company with valuable industry partnerships and thousands of local customers.
- Quality products: Remodel Works partners with top vendors to provide customer access to the best brands and materials for counter tops, plumbing fixtures, cabinets and other renovation needs.
- Guaranteed satisfaction: In addition to a five-year workmanship warranty, Remodel Works also offers a No Grey Area Guarantee that includes final client approval and a price guarantee to work within the customer's provided budget.
- Best for: Homeowners looking to design and renovate a kitchen or bathroom, customize storage space or add to existing living areas.
Marble Warehouse is a stone, mosaic, slab, and tile company that offers deep discounts on home improvement materials and supplies for maintaining decorative hard surfaces. They can help homeowners, builders and interior designers determine which product will work best for a particular project and how much will be needed. Some of the large items that they sell, such as stone and quartz slabs, are only available for local pickup.
- Accredited: The Marble Warehouse is an accredited member of the Marble Institute of America, an industry trade group that sets high standards for ethical and professional behavior.
- Stone slab and tile: They offer marble, granite, Travertine tile and onyx stone slab in an eclectic collection of sizes, styles, colors and textures.
- Porcelain tile: Also available is porcelain tile, which typically creates a shiny effect when installed, in numerous colors and shades to match almost any interior decor scheme.
- Quartz slab: The company sells four types of quartz slabs, including Polarstone, Silestone, Viatera and ColorQuartz.
- Payment options: Marble Warehouse accepts many payment methods, including PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
- Best for: Homeowners, interior designers and builders who wish to add a stone or porcelain finish to walls, floors, counter tops and patio areas.
Founded in 1992, Power Home Remodeling is a home remodeling company dedicated to energy efficiency and cost-saving renovations. They focus on using innovative technology and providing specialized help throughout the entire remodeling process to make sure you get the service and home you want.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Home Improvement Contractors
Read 32 Reviews
Headquartered in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, Custom Remodelers Inc. services Minnesota, West Wisconsin and the Twin Cities Metro with exterior and interior remodeling. Its services include siding, roofing, gutters, doors and windows.
Read 1398 Reviews
Granite Transformations is a global, full-service home and business remodeling company. It has production facilities in the United States and over 50 countries.
|Home Depot Kitchens|
Read 346 Reviews
Home Depot was founded in 1978 and is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. It offers top brands in kitchen interior remodeling, expert designers and licensed installers.
|Home Depot Doors|
Read 207 Reviews
Home Depot was founded in 1978 and is the world’s largest home improvement and hardware retailer. It has over 2,200 stores in North America, offering a wide variety of models for interior and exterior doors.
|AAA Liner and Cover Experts||Read 21 Reviews|
AAA Liner has over 28 years of experience in installing pool liners and covers. It services consumers in the Midwestern and Northeastern parts of the United States with competitive pricing for pool liner installation.
|Alure Home Improvements||Read Reviews|
Alure Home Improvements was established in 1946 and is headquartered in East Meadow, New York. It is a full-service home remodeling company offering custom designs and features to meet any home remodeling need.
|Basement Doctor||Read Reviews|
The Basement Doctor was established in 1987. Based in Columbus, Ohio, it services and extended surrounding area with basement finishing services, waterproofing, foundation repair, mold prevention and insulation services.
Read 134 Reviews
Basement Systems was formed in 1986 and is headquartered in Seymour, Connecticut. It provides consumers with renovation solutions for turning basements into additional living spaces.
|Cut-Rite Complete Landscaping|
Read 20 Reviews
Established in 1986, Cut-Rite has been offering full-service lawn care to residential and commercial properties for over 30 years.
|Home Depot Expo Design Center|
Read 108 Reviews
Read 54 Reviews
Lemus Construction has been providing consumers with roofing and exterior renovations solutions for residential or commercial properties for over 20 years. It is a family-owned company that services the Greater Philadelphia area.
|Robert's Tree Service||Read Reviews|
Robert’s Tree Service, Inc. is based in Jacksonville, Florida and provides commercial and residential tree service. Its services include tree removal, trimming, wood chipping and stump grinding.
|Team Green Lawn|
Read 13 Reviews
|Vulcan Basement Waterproofing|
Read 10 Reviews
Vulcan Basement Waterproofing is the nation's oldest basement waterproofing company. It offers residential and commercial waterproofing and flooring and has produced over 500,000 installations in the past 60 years.
|Marble Warehouse||Read Expert Review|
Marble Warehouse has been an importer of natural stone from around the world for over 25 years. Based in California, it provides consumers with decorative stone, stone care products, stone slab, quartz slab and porcelain tile.
|Remodel Works||Read Expert Review|
Based in San Diego, Remodel Works has been remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for over 30 years. It has completed over 7,500 remodeling projects since it began and offers a five-year workmanship warranty on all its work.