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Home Remodeling Contractors in Chicago: Pro Tips on How to Hire the Best

For a successful home renovation, you need to hire professionals who really know what they're doing. Remodeling contractors specialize in house improvements of any kind — from major repairs to small jobs. From this little Guide, you will get a clear step-by-step plan on how to perform your remodeling project with the best contractors.

Here at Fortress Home, we have been in the house remodeling business for more than 20 years.


Give us a call at 773-770-8607 and tell us about your project. We will provide you with professional consultation and offer a free on-site estimate.

Who is a remodeling contractor and what does he do?

Home renovation contractors execute residential jobs of any scale — from large home improvement projects to simple bathroom remodeling. Basically, it is a general contractor that specializes in house repair and will offer you a full spectrum of services connected to it. Everything from getting the necessary permits to buying the needed materials, hiring sub contractors and the overall project management is under remodeling contractor surveillance.

  • Preparation of the site for remodeling
  • Demolition of the old constructions
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing services
  • Framing and drywall
  • Painting, finishing works

This is just the basic list of all the hard work that your home renovation will most likely need.

What makes a professional contractor?

Like in any other industry, a contractor's job has to be officially approved by the government.

Any general contractor or a remodeling company must have a state license for the particular job that they do. To obtain it, a professional has to have relevant experience and pass necessary tests.

The contractor has to have an official registration certificate — and any other certificates that are required in the state. For example, if you are looking for professionals to turn your house "green", look for the permits from the Green building council.

Never trust the job to contractors who cannot provide you with official paperwork! It puts you in a situation where you can lose money, and get a rough, unprofessional job.

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What can you hire home renovation contractors for?

As we have already mentioned, residential remodeling contractors do a spectrum of jobs, connected to house improvement.

Twelve most popular services that Fortress Home provides, based on customers' demand (in descending order):

  1. Kitchen remodeling
  2. Bathroom remodels
  3. Whole house renovation
  4. New construction of home additions
  5. Replacement of windows or doors
  6. Basement renovation
  7. Patios, decks, balconies renovation
  8. Garage remodels
  9. Roofing
  10. Flooring
  11. Addition of another floor to the house
  12. Increase house’s energy efficiency

Tips to choosing the best remodeling contractor for your home renovation project

Go specific

First of all, do not hire a general contractor — hire a remodeling contractor. The latter would have specific experience in home improvements in particular. That includes knowing the right techniques, materials, suppliers and sub contractors.

Look for the locals

Contractors near you will know all the local peculiarities — best materials' suppliers, experienced sub contractors, shops with good offers. They can plan and manage future projects more effectively than even the most amazing companies that don't know the area so well.

For home additions it is important to be familiar with the quality of the soil, to know about underground waters, prone of the land to slides, etc.


Explore the portfolio: both online and offline

After you have found a few companies, thoroughly explore their portfolio — first online and then offline. Cruise through the photos on their site and then go and check out at least one — or better a few — completed projects. It will give you a very clear vision on how this company works.

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Searching for “Home builders near me?” Look no further! Fortress Home has been on the Chicago IL building market for over two decades.


Set up a budget

Now, when all the initial research is done, it is time to set up a budget. Get estimates from a few companies that you liked and choose the most relevant quote. If the budgets differ a lot, it makes sense to invite a third party and check out their opinion. Don't know what the cost of your project should be? Give us a call at Fortress Home and we will count it for you in no time.

Meet team members in person

These people will stick at your house for some time. Personal style, approach to work and just the overall appeal is super important when you choose contractors. It is very important to meet your remodel team in person before the process begins. How well do they know their service? What schedule to get ready for? What do they expect from you? Ask all the questions you need — and if you are not satisfied with the answers or the general feel, trust your gut and check out other options.

Read through the contract draft

When you have a good connection to somebody, it is easy to get carried away and forget about the necessary steps. The contract. It needs to be carefully studied and revised, better with a lawyer. Are the milestones clear? Does it include a sound system of fines in case of terms violation? Have the payments been distributed correctly? (Remember not to pay 100% advances?) This is the crucial step on which a lot of homeowners stumble.

Do not make their mistakes and carefully study the contract draft.

Here at Fortress Home we are proud of the transparency, honesty and professionalism - the pillars of our approach to client service.


You can inquire about our contract draft at any time, it will surely give you more clarity!

If you perform all these steps, you are more likely to get a perfect team of professional contractors for your home remodeling job. If you have any questions left, you can always give us a call!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a contractor cost to renovate a house?

The average price for a home remodeling project in the US is $35 per sq. ft. Depending on the scale of the job, general contractors might charge you as low as $10 per sq. ft and as high as $100 per sq. ft. A general rule of remodel business — the project cannot cost more than 10% of your current house price.

Have a clear idea of what remodeling services you need? Give a call to Fortress Home specialists at 773-770-8607 — we will provide you with a free estimate right on the phone. Need more information? Pop up to our office or invite us for a free on-site estimate!

How do I hire a contractor for home renovations?

First of all, go local. When you are looking for a remodeling company, search for the ones that have extensive experience in your area. This will secure quality supplies, experienced sub contractors, and meet the deadlines. Maybe your friends or neighbors can give you some advice?

After you've done the initial online research, and found a few restoration contractors, talk to their project managers on the phone and ask them a few questions. Find out what contractors offer, their timings — and the general approach to maintaining projects. After that compare the quotes and choose the budget that suits you the most.

It would be very helpful to have a tour of their completed projects and talk to the homeowners. Were they satisfied with the entire process? Did the project go smoothly and had a timely successful completion? Was the project manager a pleasant person to work with?

After you've gathered enough information, and have a home remodeling company that you like the most, carefully study the contract draft with a lawyer, set up the deadlines, and start the process!

How much deposit should you give a contractor?

Contractor's business standard is 10%-20% of the total project cost. All milestones of the project and the payment schedule have to be clearly mentioned in the contract. Never work with companies that request a 100% deposit! Most likely, it is a scam. The deal closure happens when you enter your renovated property — which is clearly stated in all of the paperwork. Be smart and we wish you a great job from your remodeling contractor!

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Fortress Home combines the roles of a general contractor, a construction partner, and a construction manager. Our talented workforce helps us professionally manage all aspects of on-site construction.

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