The Best Home Renovation Contractors

The Best Home Renovation Contractors

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Over the last few decades, home prices have been steadily increasing. This leaves many homeowners in a position where their current house doesn’t quite fit their current needs, but they are unable to find a suitable new home to buy in their price range. The next best thing is often remodeling an existing home to update it and make it more attractive and comfortable. Renovating a home consists of a wide array of projects, from remodeling a nursery to create a preteen bedroom to repurposing an adjacent bedroom to create an upscale en suite. And while a homeowner might be tempted to do a DIY home renovation to save money, the end result may be disappointing (and potentially unsafe).

Often, the homeowner has a general idea of the look and design they’re going for but cannot visualize the finished project, usually due to a lack of construction knowledge. That’s where the best home renovation contractors come in—they have the ability to turn a customer’s home renovation ideas into reality while staying within the scope of local building codes and budget. Before hiring a pro, homeowners may want to learn what to look for when selecting a renovation contractor, and find out why the following companies earned a spot on this lineup.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Mr. Handyman
  2. BEST FOR KITCHENS: Granite and TREND Transformations
  3. BEST FOR BATHROOMS: Re-Bath
  4. BEST FOR EXTERIORS: Power Home Remodeling Group
  5. BEST FOR RESTORATION: Belfor Property Restoration
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: The Home Depot
The Best Home Renovation Contractors Options
Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Home Renovation Contractors

Homeowners who are thinking about gutting their house need to choose a renovation contractor they can trust to do a quality job. This is one area where it pays to do some research and reference checking. The general rule of thumb is to get estimates from three licensed contractors and compare them side by side. Still, there are other important considerations, such as where the contractor is located, the type of warranty the company offers, and whether the contractor can keep the project within budget. Choosing a contractor with a stellar reputation can help avoid a lot of construction nightmares.

Contractor Coverage Area

In general, it’s best to hire a contractor that is based nearby. A local contractor will know the local building codes and have no problem pulling the necessary permits. Unfortunately, for those living in small communities or rural areas, it’s not always possible to find a local contractor, particularly if specialized services such as bathtub membrane recoating are desired.

General home renovation or remodeling contractors typically have a coverage area that allows them to reach their clients within an hour or so of their home base. Specialty contractors will often have a more comprehensive coverage area because they serve a niche that general contractors don’t.

Searching online for “remodeling companies near me” will turn up a plethora of options from which homeowners can choose. When hiring a contractor that’s more than an hour’s drive away, the main consideration to be aware of is the addition of a travel charge, which can add substantially to the cost of the project if the contractor and crew need several days, or weeks, to complete the project.

Renovation Budget and Extent

Before talking to any contractor, homeowners will need to decide on a budget for the project. A small project, such as having a room repainted or having old wallpaper stripped and installing new wallpaper, will be less expensive than adding an addition to a house or gutting the kitchen and then installing a brand-new one, complete with new cabinets, top-of-the-line appliances, and quartz countertops. The cost to remodel a basement will be higher if the existing basement is completely unfinished, whereas remodeling a finished basement will likely cost less.

Homeowners can find many online renovation and remodeling calculators that will give them a good ballpark idea of the cost of their desired project. Still, in the end, the final cost will depend on what a contractor is willing to do the job for, the going rate of labor in a community, and the quality of the materials chosen. By establishing a firm budget in advance, it’s less likely for homeowners to be tempted to exceed it.

Warranties 

Warranties vary by location and by the individual contractor, but many times, a company will offer a minimum 1-year guarantee on their workmanship. This means if there’s a problem, such as a leaking sink drain due to faulty installation, the contractor will come back and fix it within a year of the project’s completion.

Additionally, contractors linked to manufacturers, such as contractors who install a specific brand of fiber-cement siding, will often warranty the workmanship for 1 year as well as the material itself against factory defects.

When the contractor has no link to the material, the homeowner will likely have to pursue a warranty for a factory defect from a product’s manufacturer. An example would be a case where the homeowner purchases a jetted bathtub and then hires a contractor to install it. If the tub’s motor conks out a month after installation, the contractor who installed it is not on the hook for repairing it. Instead, the homeowner needs to contact the tub’s manufacturer to see what type of product warranty is involved.

Subcontractors

The work and quality of a general contractor is only as good as the subcontractors who work for the company. For some homeowners, it’s concerning if a general remodeling contractor subs out various aspects of the project, such as plumbing, wiring, and insulating, to subcontractors. Subcontractors often work with many general contractors, so the project may slow down if a subcontractor has to complete another job before starting a new project.

For this reason, on a project where a large general contractor personally employs framers, electricians, and plumbers, the project timeline will often go smoother, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea to hire a contractor who uses subs. Many subcontractors perform high-quality work. If subs will be on the job, the homeowner will want to check the references of the general contractor and the references of the subs who will be involved.

Licensure and Credentials

Licensing laws vary by state and individual community, so the homeowner will first want to consult the local building authority to determine which credentials are required in the community. If the contractor is licensed with a state or local board, the homeowner can often check to see if the contractor has any outstanding complaints and if the company is insured and bonded.

Training and certification may be required to install specific materials, such as spray foam insulation, which requires a certified expert trained to use the equipment necessary to install the foam. The homeowner can often check with the company to see if the installer is in good standing.

Financing

Small, local contractors will often require payment for the project upon completion, but national renovation companies and service providers that operate out of franchises may offer financing. Alternatively, homeowners with enough equity in their home (the difference between what they owe on their mortgage and the home’s value) can often secure a home renovation loan from one of the best home equity loan lenders (such as U.S. Bank or Flagstar Bank). Homeowners can also look into the different types of home improvement loans to see what’s available to them. Many times, one of the best home improvement loans can help a homeowner pay for the renovations to their home without needing to tap into home equity.

It’s essential for a homeowner to understand how to finance a home renovation before hiring a contractor. If a contractor offers to finance, the terms will be spelled out in a home renovation contract. They will include the interest rate charged by the contractor, the payment period length and number of payments, and whether the homeowner can pay off the debt early without penalty.

Customer Feedback 

A couple of decades ago, homeowners had only one option for finding out how satisfied others were with a specific contractor—they had to request a list of recent clients from the contractor and then contact them. This is often still a good idea in small communities, but today, more and more contractors have a web presence, and many allow past clients to post comments and feedback. Of course, the contractor may choose only to post complimentary feedback, so if no complaints appear, the homeowner may still want to get a list of recent clients and consult them.

At-a-Glance Comparison   

Service Area Rooms Offered Warranty Subcontractors Used Financing Offered
Mr. Handyman 38 states and Washington, D.C. Whole house 1 year satisfaction guarantee No Varies by location
Granite and TREND Transformations 18 states Bathroom, kitchens, and garages Limited lifetime on countertops and backsplashes; 5 years on cabinets Varies by project Yes
Re-Bath 43 states and Washington, D.C. Bathroom 1 year on labor; lifetime on acrylic products; 5 years on bathtub components; 10 years on natural stone products No Yes
Power Home Remodeling Group 16 states and Washington, D.C. Exterior Lifetime labor Varies by project Yes
Belfor Property Restoration 40 states and Washington, D.C. Whole house 2-year warranty (repair work only) Varies by project Unknown
The Home Depot 50 states and Washington, D.C. Whole house  1 year on labor Yes Yes

Our Top Picks

We researched and vetted dozens of contractors that offer nationwide renovation and remodeling services for this lineup. The following contractors were selected based on service coverage area—some are nationwide, while others service large geographic regions—whether they offer warranties, and whether the companies also offer financing.

Best Overall

Mr. Handyman

Mr. Handyman

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Why It Made the Cut: Mr. Handyman offers home renovation services through franchises in 38 states (and Washington, D.C.)—and the company’s 1-year satisfaction guarantee gives homeowners time to identify potential issues with the work and get them fixed free of charge.

Mr. Handyman is a national franchise with locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C., which makes it likely homeowners will find a branch near them. The company has a transparent process from the first time a customer gets in touch to schedule an appointment to the time payment is due, so customers will know what to expect throughout the entire process. Since Mr. Handyman is a franchise, prices for services can vary by location. However, customers can get a general project estimate over the phone so they can more easily budget for the service they need. Once they’re ready to book, customers can schedule an appointment using the Neighborly app, and they can also use the app to check the status of the job at any time. This is especially beneficial for those who prefer to use digital platforms rather than call local contractors to set up appointments.

Customers who hire Mr. Handyman can feel confident that their service technician will act professionally and have the knowledge needed to complete the project. That’s because Mr. Handyman hires knowledgeable professionals with an average of 10 years of experience in the field. Technicians also have a variety of skills so they can work on a wide range of home renovation projects. And the company’s 1-year satisfaction guarantee provides even more peace of mind. If the customer notes any issues with the quality of workmanship within that time frame, they can contact Mr. Handyman and have a technician come back at no additional cost to fix the issue. This gives homeowners time to identify and report potential problems with their home renovation project—especially issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Specs 

  • Service area: 38 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Rooms offered: Whole house
  • Warranty: 1 year satisfaction guarantee
  • Subcontractors used: No
  • Financing offered: Varies by location

Pros

  • Process transparency from scheduling to payment provides a worry-free experience
  • Knowledgeable home renovation professionals with an average of 10 years’ experience
  • Generous 1-year satisfaction guarantee
  • Convenient booking via Neighborly app

Cons

  • Prices may vary by location and franchise

Best for Kitchens

Granite and TREND Transformations

Granite and TREND Transformations

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Why It Made the Cut: Granite and TREND Transformations specializes in granite countertops for kitchen renovations and commits to eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Homeowners who want to renovate their kitchen and install granite countertops may want to consider hiring Granite and TREND Transformations. The company specializes in granite countertop installation, though it also offers quartz, recycled glass, concrete, marble, and travertine countertops. The countertops can be installed in bathrooms and garages, as well as in kitchens, and there’s a limited lifetime warranty on countertops and backsplashes for additional peace of mind.

Customers who choose to work with Granite and TREND Transformations will be limited to the products offered by the company, which may be a downside for those who want a wider selection of materials to choose from. However, Granite and TREND offers a free virtual design tool that lets potential customers choose a general layout and adjust design elements such as countertops, cabinets, sinks, faucets, handles, and flooring to get a sense of what the final product will look like. This tool is especially helpful for those who are on the fence about hiring Granite and TREND as they can easily see what the products will look like once the renovation is complete.

Granite and TREND Transformations is also an eco-friendly choice for those concerned about sustainability, with products and business practices certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and the National Sanitation Foundation. The company designs its products to be durable while requiring 60 percent fewer raw materials and using recycled materials where possible. The company also aims to cut waste and water usage where possible, giving customers peace of mind that their renovation will have minimal environmental impact.

Specs 

  • Service area: 18 states
  • Rooms offered: Bathrooms, kitchens, and garages
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime on countertops and backsplashes; 5 years on cabinets
  • Subcontractors used: Varies by project
  • Financing offered: Yes 

Pros

  • Specialty in granite countertop installation
  • Eco-friendly practices and products certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and the National Sanitation Foundation
  • Free virtual design tool

Cons

  • Limited product selection

Best for Bathrooms

Re-Bath

Re-Bath

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Why It Made the Cut: Re-Bath boasts a lifetime warranty on its proprietary line of bathtubs and also offers a line of accessibility products to help create an ADA-compliant bathroom.

Homeowners wondering who to hire for a bathroom remodel may want to look into Re-Bath. As the name suggests, Re-Bath specializes in personalized bathroom renovations, from tub-to-shower conversions to full remodels. This specialization can give customers confidence that their renovation will be completed professionally by experts who have done this kind of work countless times. Customers will be limited to Re-Bath’s proprietary DuraBath line of products, which may be a disadvantage for some, but the line is fairly extensive so it’s likely customers will find something they like.

Another area where ReBath shines is with its lifetime warranty on acrylic DuraBath products. Additionally, the company has a 10-year warranty on natural stone products and a 5-year warranty on bathtub components. Altogether, these warranties can give customers peace of mind that the company stands by the quality of the products being used for their bathroom remodel.

Re-Bath also offers a dedicated line of aging-in-place and accessibility products that are designed for both safety and style. Additionally, the company’s patented slip-resistant technology helps decrease the risk of accidental falls. These offerings are beneficial for those with limited mobility who want to remain in their home but have concerns about the accessibility of their existing bathroom.

Specs 

  • Service area: 43 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Rooms offered: Bathroom
  • Warranty: 1 year on labor; lifetime on acrylic products; 5 years on bathtub components; 10 years on natural stone products
  • Subcontractors used: No
  • Financing offered: Yes

Pros

  • Specialty in bathroom remodeling
  • Dedicated line of aging-in-place and accessibility products available
  • Lifetime warranty on acrylic products

Cons

  • Limited product selection

Best for Exteriors

Power Home Remodeling Group

Power Home Remodeling Group

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Why It Made the Cut: Power Home Remodeling Group focuses on updating the exterior of a home, including siding replacement, window installation, and roofing services.

Homeowners who are interested in remodeling their home’s exterior may want to look into Power Home Remodeling Group (HRG). The company specializes in exterior renovations, such as replacing siding, windows, or roofs. Hiring a company with expertise in this area can give homeowners confidence that the job will be done right. However, Power HRG doesn’t offer interior renovations, so homeowners who want to redo their house inside and out will need to look elsewhere for other services.

Power HRG has an impressive lifetime labor warranty, which remains in place as long as the original customer resides in the home. This is especially beneficial for homeowners who plan to stay in their homes long term; if they discover any issues with the quality of work down the road, they can contact Power HRG and get the problem resolved rather than needing to call around and pay for new repairs out of pocket.

Since Power HRG has limited information online about the specific services it offers,  homeowners may need to contact the company directly to find out about things like available siding colors or window styles. But once the customer hires Power HRG, they can use the company’s Project Pulse app to keep track of their renovation project and monitor its progress. Through the app, they can also check upcoming appointments, get real-time updates, access digital documents and project photos, and even e-sign paperwork. This is a convenience that can’t be ignored.

Specs 

  • Service area: 16 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Rooms offered: Exterior
  • Warranty: Lifetime labor
  • Subcontractors used: Varies by project
  • Financing offered: Yes

Pros

  • Specialty in exterior home renovations
  • Lifetime labor warranty provided
  • Convenient project management and tracking via mobile app

Cons

  • Interior renovation services not available
  • Limited service information available online

Best for Restoration

Belfor Property Restoration

Belfor Property Restoration

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Why It Made the Cut: Belfor Property Restoration offers a list of services designed to restore a home that’s been damaged by natural disasters like storms, fire, and flooding.

Homeowners who have been impacted by a natural disaster can turn to Belfor Property Restoration to bring their home back to its former glory. The company specializes in home reconstruction after natural disasters such as flooding, fire, or storms. Trusting a home restoration to a specialty company rather than a general contractor can give homeowners reassurance that any underlying issues, such as mold growth or smoke damage, will be properly remediated.

Due to its specialization in home reconstruction, Belfor has limited services for homes in good condition, so homeowners looking for a more traditional renovation will need to look elsewhere. However, those who are dealing with issues after a disaster can trust their entire restoration project to Belfor. The company’s service list includes several specialized restoration services, such as mold, document, and electronics restoration, as well as gutter cleaning and air duct cleaning. With so many service options available, Belfor is a one-stop shop for homeowners who need comprehensive restoration and cleanup services.

Specs 

  • Service area: 40 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Rooms offered: Whole house
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty (repair work only)
  • Subcontractors used: Varies by project
  • Financing offered: Unknown

Pros

  • Specialty in reconstruction after natural disasters
  • Wide range of remediation, restoration, and cleaning services available

Cons

  • Limited services available for homes already in good condition

Also Consider

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

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Why It Made the Cut: The Home Depot offers home renovation services nationwide through its retail stores and gives customers an extensive range of products to choose from.

The Home Depot offers a wide range of home renovation services to customers nationwide. Available services include door and window installation, kitchen and bathroom remodels, and HVAC installation and repair. Although the company contracts out work to other local professionals, all subcontractors must be licensed and insured. In addition, The Home Depot requires all subcontractors to complete a background check, so homeowners can feel comfortable with the contractor in their home.

One of the biggest benefits of going with a major home improvement store like The Home Depot for a home renovation is the wide range of custom and off-the-shelf products available. Customers aren’t limited to one brand of products as they might be with other renovation companies. The downside is that prices can vary—homeowners may be tempted to choose a product above their ideal price range, which can blow their budget. The cost of services can also vary by location, so homeowners will want to get an estimate before hiring. However, the nationwide availability of The Home Depot makes it a solid choice for customers regardless of their geographic location.

Specs 

  • Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Rooms offered: Whole house
  • Warranty: 1 year on labor
  • Subcontractors used: Yes
  • Financing offered: Yes 

Pros

  • Nationwide availability
  • Wide range of home renovation services available
  • Wide range of custom and off-the-shelf products available

Cons

  • Work is contracted out to other local professionals
  • Prices and service availability may vary by location

Our Verdict

Good contractors can be found in every community. Still, for exceptional nationwide services, Mr. Handyman is notable for its extensive coverage area and financing options, while Granite and TREND Transformations is a top pick for homeowners who want to renovate their kitchen.

How We Chose the Best Home Renovation Contractors

To qualify for this lineup of the best renovation contractors, a construction company had to have a broad base of operation and show a history of dedication to quality workmanship and customer service. It also had to demonstrate expertise in its range of services. Homeowners typically ask for help locating “remodelers near me,” so the companies needed to have multiple branches.

We also awarded points for companies that offered project financing. In some cases, homeowners need repairs or renovations in order to make the home salable or livable. However, not everyone has the cash set aside to pay for large renovation projects, so company financing is a perk.

Before You Hire One of the Best Home Renovation Contractors

While these renovation contractors are highly successful and offer services over a large geographic area, they might not be suitable in all situations. If none of these contractors service a specific region, the next best option is for homeowners to use tried-and-true methods to find a contractor in the general vicinity. Among the best ways to locate contractors is through a local lender. If a homeowner asks for a list of the best “remodeling companies near me,” the lender can put together a list of the companies with the best reputations.

Homeowners will also want to determine whether they want to remodel or move to a new home. If a space isn’t meeting the homeowner’s needs, it may be more expensive to remodel the existing home and add more living space than to move to a larger home. If the homeowner does choose to renovate their existing home, they’ll want to make sure they hire the right contractor. For example, someone living in a mobile home will want to ensure they find a pro experienced in mobile home renovation to complete the project.

Cost of Hiring One of the Best Home Renovation Contractors

Home renovation costs can vary widely depending on the scope of the project. In general, though, home renovations can cost between $19,504 and $86,917, with a national average of about $51,336 for a whole-house project. The final cost will depend on many things, such as project size, the going price of labor in the community, whether a company has to travel more than an hour to reach the home, and more. Renovations for specific rooms in a home will also vary; a bathroom remodel costs an average of $11,533, while a kitchen remodel costs around $26,240.

The quality of materials chosen will also impact the overall price charged by the contractor—quartz countertops are more expensive than preformed laminate, and selecting pricey appliances and fixtures can significantly increase the final tally. Homeowners may want to familiarize themselves with how to get a home improvement loan to help them pay for more expensive renovations.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Home Renovation Contractors

By choosing reputable renovation contractors, homeowners have the best shot at getting quality work. A good contractor will stay on top of the project and see it through from the initial design stage to completion. The best home renovation companies will be fully insured, so the homeowner is covered in the event something is damaged or a worker is injured while on the job.

Acting as one’s own general contractor for a renovation job isn’t for the faint of heart. Sure, homeowners can save a few bucks if they wear the hat of a general contractor, but it might end up being more trouble than it’s worth because finding quality subcontractors, scheduling them, pulling permits (if necessary), and ordering materials can quickly become overwhelming. Reputable contractors come with some distinct advantages.

  • A single project manager oversees the whole job.
  • The homeowner receives a warranty on workmanship.
  • The contractor performs call-back visits if small aspects are missed.

FAQs

Renovating a home or part of a home can be a pricey proposition, and it can disturb a family’s way of life for days or weeks. Still, it’s generally the way homeowners update their properties and increase their home’s value. Those who are just starting to think about hiring a renovation contractor will likely have a few questions.

Q. How much do renovation contractors charge? 

That varies, depending on project size, the quality of the materials and fixtures, and the going rate of labor. In general, most homeowners pay in the neighborhood of $51,336 for a whole-house renovation. When contacting a company, homeowners will want to ask, “Does the company offer home remodeling near me?” The less time the contractor and crew have to spend traveling to the location, the lower the final cost.
Some projects may be eligible for a home renovation tax deduction. Specifically, energy-efficient upgrades (such as window or HVAC unit replacement) and medically necessary renovations (such as adding handrails or grab bars to a bathroom or installing a stair lift) can qualify for a deduction. Homeowners will want to consult a tax professional to determine whether their renovations qualify for this tax deduction.

Q: How long does it take for a home renovation contractor to renovate a house? 

It could take a few days if the renovations are minimal or it could take weeks or even months to complete complex renovations.

Q. Do home renovation contractors offer free estimates? 

Most home renovation contractors will provide homeowners with free estimates. Homeowners will want to be aware, however, that an estimate is just a ballpark figure. The final cost may vary.

Q. Do home renovation contractors prepare multiple renovation plans?

It depends on the size of the company and the scope of its services. Some renovation contractors only offer plans for specific home areas, such as the kitchen or bathroom, while others will prepare plans for whole-house remodeling.

Q. Do home renovation contractors sign a contract before work begins? 

Almost always. A contract protects both the client and the contractor if problems happen down the line, such as desired materials going out of stock, a need for change orders, or personality conflicts.

Q. What’s the best way to find home remodeling contractors near me?

When looking into who to hire to remodel a house, homeowners can consider one of the home remodeling contractors in the above lineup, or ask for referrals from friends, real estate agents, and lenders. They’ll want to do some due diligence, research the company, ask for a firm bid, and make sure everyone is on the same page before signing on the dotted line.

Sources: Angi