Questions to Ask a Remodeling Contractor Before Hiring Them
If you’re at a point where you need to hire someone to help you get work done in your home, odds are there are many questions going through your mind. While you may think you have all of your bases covered with the questions you’ve already prepared, there are some very specific (and important) questions you need to ask before hiring a contractor. You’ll want to ensure you choose a reputable company that you can trust to complete quality work in a timely manner.
Here are some ideas for questions to ask as you learn the ins and outs of how to hire a contractor:
Do You Have Insurance?
One of the most important questions to ask a remodeling contractor is whether they carry insurance. In addition to demonstrating the contractor’s commitment to providing a quality remodel experience, it also indicates their willingness to act in compliance with the law — many municipalities require contractors to carry basic liability insurance.
It’s also a good idea to ask a contractor about his insurance levels. This will help you understand exactly how they are protected against accidents and how transparent they are willing to be with you.
Has Your Business Ever Changed Names?
Maybe you’ve met your contractor and he seems like a reputable small business owner with a solid track record of quality work in your community. What if you found out halfway into your project that your contractor went by a different name somewhere halfway across the country and fleeced homeowners out of thousands of dollars in unmade repairs?
One of the most important questions to ask a home remodeling contractor is whether their business has ever operated under a different name. It’s a crucial step in the vetting process that can help establish trust between you and your contractor.
What if An Unforeseen Issue Arises During The Project?
While completing a simple tiling job in your master bathroom, what if your contractor lets you know she found a leaking pipe and fixed it? You might think this is a nice gesture, until the company adds an extra $1,500 to your bill for repairs that may or may not have been necessary.
When you are hiring a contractor, make it clear that you want to authorize any out-of-scope work before it is started. This means having the contractor contact you to inform you of the following:
- What unforeseen issue has the contractor encountered?
- Is this issue prohibiting work from being completed?
- If not, how important is it that this issue be fixed?
- How would this work change the cost of the project?
- How would this work change the timeline of the project?
Taking these simple precautionary steps will help establish trust between you and your contractor and serve as a reference point for an agreed-upon workscope as you proceed through your project.
Who Will Be Your Foreman or Project Manager?
A thorough, knowledgeable project manager (PM) is essential. The person acts as both the leader of the crew completing work on your home and your first point of contact for all queries regarding construction. You’ll have plenty of questions to ask when remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, so getting to know your project supervisor will help immensely.
Find out as soon as you can who your foreman or PM is, and learn everything you can about their background and experience. You’ll want to make sure you work with someone you can communicate clearly with and who keeps you updated on jobsite progress, as well as any issues that may arise throughout the construction process.
How Will You Help Ensure The Safety of My Family?
Jobsite safety is as important as the quality of the work being performed. However, many homeowners simply take for granted that their contractor will work in a safe manner. When hiring a contractor, be sure that they will keep you informed on which areas of the house are safe (or unsafe) to use.
If you have children, it is also important to think about which areas might be particularly hazardous for them. Because we do not experience the world with a short stature and tiny hands ourselves, putting ourselves in their position can often help us foresee potential safety issues and address them proactively.
What Happens if My Property Is Damaged During Construction?
Next to the safety of your family, the safety of your property is also an important point of consideration. Let’s imagine a scenario where your contractor accidentally damages framing while removing old drywall in your guest bedroom. Who’s responsible for covering the damages? Is your contractor able to fix what they’ve broken, or will you need to hire an additional crew to complete the work?
Protect yourself and keep your contractor happy by taking the time to discuss what will happen if any damage, outside the scope of work, occurs during your remodel project. It’s important to talk through any and all troublesome situations before they arise to establish trust between you and your contractor, so you can understand where your responsibility begins and ends throughout your project.
What Will You Need From Me During the Project?
One of the most important questions to ask a home remodeling contractor is what they need from you during the project. At no point in the process do you want any surprises — a foreman instructing you that he’ll need to shut off your power for a few hours while you’re working on a business proposal on your computer isn’t something you’ll want to find out five minutes ahead of time.
When you begin to plan the construction timeline with your contractor, be sure to sit down and discuss any needs they might have for access, space that needs to be cleared, or sound levels. If you stay on top of these small contingencies, you can avoid any future frustrations or inconveniences for you and your contractor.
Colebrook Construction: Contractors You Can Trust
Colebrook Construction, with over twenty years of experience in remodeling, would be happy to answer each of these questions for you in a detailed manner. We believe in the value of an informed client who understands each step of the construction process and feels comfortable coming to us with any questions or concerns.
If you’re interested in working with a quality remodeling contractor who cares about customer service, contact us today for a free consultation.