Some Quick Questions To Ask Before Choosing The Contractor For Your Next Remodel:
Does the contractor have references for similar jobs & been in the business for awhile?
- If the contractor won’t or can’t supply references, consider it a big red flag. When you call to check on references, ask the homeowner if you can come by and see the work firsthand.
Is the contractor licensed, insured, and bonded?
- Reputable contractors should carry insurance as well as being bonded. Ask to see the license and write down the license number, then call the local home builder’s association and check to see if their licensed is up to date and if the contractor has any complaints against them on file.
Does the contractor often do the type of work you have in mind?
- Avoid contractors who don’t have extensive experience in the area of home improvement you plan to have done.
When will the contractor be able to start the job?
- Make sure the time frame the contractor gives is firm and works with your schedule.
How long will it take the contractor to complete the job?
- Is the contractor’s deadline firm, and what is the penalty if the job takes longer (make sure the penalty is big enough so it won’t be ignored).
Will the contractor provide a detailed, written estimate?
- Make sure the estimate details the work to be done, and that any limits on materials are enough to cover the expense for the items you plan to use.
Will the contractor provide a contract for the job?
- All but the most minor projects should include a detailed contract. Consider having your lawyer look over the contract to make sure it’s legally binding and protects your interests. If not, request specific changes.
Will additional payments be required during the job?
- Any additional partial payments after the deposit should be detailed in the agreement based upon completion of specific tasks and don’t make the final payment until the job is completely finished to your satisfaction.
Will the contractor obtain building permits for the work?
- All but the most basic repair jobs should have a building permit, with inspection and approval required for components—such as wiring or plumbing—as the job progresses.
Does the contractor use there own trades or subcontractors?
- Subcontractors—such as plumbers and electricians—should be licensed and certified in their area of expertise.