8 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Remodeling Contractor
Your home is still beautiful, but it’s antiquated. The appliances are old, the siding is faded, and the shingles are starting to curl. For this reason, you’re planning a remodel.
Now all that’s left to do is to find a reputable home remodeling company. The only problem is: you don’t know how.
That’s where we come in. Below, we’re going to review the 7 key questions to ask before hiring a home remodeling contractor. Let’s go!
Questions to Ask a Home Remodeling Contractor
Home remodeling contractors run the gamut from highly-skilled experts to no-skill frauds. To find a good one, you’ve got to do some research and you’ve got to ask some questions. Those questions are as follows.
1. How Experienced are You?
First, you need to ask your prospective contractor about his or her experience in the profession. In most cases, length of experience correlates to quality, particularly if said experience equals decades.
However, not only should you be asking about the length of experience, but the type of experience as well. See, some contractors specialize in certain areas of home remodeling, such as windows, roofs, siding, etc. You need to be sure that your contractor is experienced in the type of service you require.
We recommend hiring a contractor with at least 5 years of experience. If a contractor has been able to make a living for 5 years, odds are that he or she is providing a worthwhile service.
2. Are You Licensed?
In many US states, home remodeling contractors are required by law to obtain licenses in order to perform work on existing residential structures. If you live in one of these states, you need to ask prospective contractors whether they’re licensed.
Wondering how you can test the legitimacy of a specific contractor’s license? Most states have license lookup databases that are open to the public online.
3. Do You Have Insurance?
Not only should your home remodeling contractor have a license (in the appropriate states), but he or she should also have insurance. Utilizing the services of an uninsured contractor is exceedingly risky, as — in the event of damage to your home or injury to a sub-contractor — you could be held legally liable.
The two types of insurance you need to look out for include general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. If your prospective contractor can’t provide proof of these insurances, you need to look elsewhere.
4. Do You Secure Permits for Your Clients?
Another thing you’ll want to discuss with your prospective contractor is whether or not he or she secures construction permits for his or her clients. Unfortunately, not all contractors do this, leaving the often stressful and time-consuming task to the homeowners.
While the choice is totally up to you, we recommend hiring a contractor who will, indeed, secure permits for his or her clients. Not only because it will save time and stress, but because experienced contractors will know exactly which types of permits to secure.
5. How Long Will My Project Take?
Home remodeling contractors work on different timelines. While some can finish a project in just a few hours, others can take a full work day and sometimes even several full work days. For this reason, you need to ask your prospective contractor about how long he or she expects your project to take.
If you’re paying hourly, this is even more important, as the longer your contractor takes, the more money you’re going to have to pay. Plus, let’s be honest, who wants someone performing noisy work on their house for long periods of time?
Any experienced contractor will have a general idea as to how long different projects take. If you can’t get a straight answer, or if the time required far exceeds the time needed for other contractors, you should look elsewhere.
6. Who Will Be Working on My House?
Odds are, if you’re utilizing home remodeling services, you’re going to have more than one person working on your house. It’s your responsibility to find out just who these people will be.
In some cases, contractors will have their own teams. In these cases, team members tend to work on the same projects day in and day out and are required by law to be covered under the contractor’s insurance.
However, in other cases, contractors bring in sub-contractors. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be. If your prospective contractor uses sub-contractors, you need to be sure that they’re covered under insurance.
If your contractor’s workers aren’t covered under insurance, you need to find a different contractor.
7. What Does a Typical Workday Look Like for You?
Another thing to ask your prospective contractor is what his or her typical workday looks like. This is important because it allows you to determine the type of effect your contractor will have on your house during the project. Considering you live in your house, it will have an effect on you as well.
Ask about starting and stopping times, ask about noise, ask about methods of working, and ask about your responsibilities as the owner of the home. You and your contractor need to be on the same page so that neither of you is stepping on the other’s toes.
This is a great opportunity to get to know your contractor as well. Developing a working relationship is important because it enables you to learn more about the design and remodeling processes.
8. What are Your Rates?
It’s impossible to know what a contractor will charge unless you ask that contractor about his rates. Highly successful and long-working contractors will typically charge more than newbies, as they have the clout, the experience, and expertise needed to do so.
Regardless of who you’re talking to, you need to ask for an estimate. Any contractor worth his or her salt will give you one. If your prospective contractor won’t give you an estimate, you shouldn’t utilize his or her services.
In Need of Some Home Remodeling Tips?
While your home remodeling contractor can help you with the design of your house, you might be searching for some home remodeling tips on your own. If so, you’re in the right place.
Tasteful Space has a bevy of home remodeling articles for you peruse. Check out our home remodeling articles now!