Clients who do their homework are our favorite types of clients. As a home improvement and remodeling contractor it’s important that we are transparent so that you feel comfortable in your decision to hire us. We encourage you to meet with professionals to understand their criteria for a finished project.
We know you have a lot of questions before undertaking an major remodeling project, but do you know which questions are the most important to ask of your prospective contractor? We’ve compiled what we think are the top 10 questions to ask a remodeling contractor before you hire them…oh, and the important RIGHT answers.
1. How long have you been in business?
This question does not have such a clear cut answer. However, a company that has been in business long enough to provide you with at least 25 references has been around the block a few times. This depth in experience allows you to hire with confidence.
2. Are you licensed?
It’s important that your contractor be licensed. Per our blog post “6 Tips for Choosing a Remodeling Contractor” (will insert link back to former post) you can look up any potential contractor’s license and registrations to make sure they have all the proper credentials to work on your project. If you don’t you may be left on your own, should the contractor not follow through with your project.
3. Can I see your certificate of insurance?
Not only should the contractor be able to provide you with their own certificate of insurance, but they should be able to have their insurance company provide you with a certificate with your name on it including enough coverage for your project. No contractor starts a project with the intent to have something go wrong, but in case it does, this way you know you’re covered.
4. Do you carry workman’s comp for your employees?
This might not sound like it’s important to you, but as the homeowner it is. The contractor should have workman’s compensation insurance for all employees that will be on your property. Should you choose to hire a contractor that is without this coverage and a worker gets hurt on your property, you would be the responsible party. Knowing this information will definitely put you more at ease when hiring.
5. Can you provide me with a list of references?
The answer should be YES. If not, move on. If your preferred contractor cannot provide you with references, chances are they do not have enough experience in general or they have not completed projects with satisfied clients. Ask for more than three references to make sure you get a firm grasp on their capabilities. If you ask for a few with projects similar to yours and a few from differing projects, you will get a great sampling of their work ethics and breadth of experience.
6. Do you provide a written contract?
As a homeowner it’s important for you to have a clear understanding of what your project entails both in time and materials as well as costs. Getting it in writing protects you…as well as the contractor. An honest contractor is happy to provide a written contract.
7. Is there a dedicated team for my project?
Sub-contractors may be appropriate from project to project, but that should always be noted up front. As many contractors work on multiple projects simultaneously, it’s important to know who will be there for your project, and when. Your contractor should be up front with this information.
8. How are permits handled?
Not all projects require permits but when they do the answer should be that the contractor handles/pulls all the necessary permits. They may leave it up to you to manage, but they have a very clear perspective on the appropriate timing for all necessary permits and inspections.
9. How will additional costs be handled?
Due to advanced technology and your contractor’s experience, they should be very adept at providing you with an accurate estimate for your project. However, home improvement can be unpredictable at times, and once a project is underway, it’s possible that circumstances will arise that increase the estimated price that was originally presented to you. It’s critical that your contractor be clear that he won’t spend any money over your agreed-upon budget without first getting your approval.
10. How can I get in touch with you?
Not only do you need to know who you day-to-day contact is, but it’s important to know how to get in touch with that person. Daily updates are important to you and your contractor respects that. You should be provided with your project managers name and preferred method of contact, whether that’s by phone or email The contractor should also provide you with the hours that person is available to respond to you This way you aren’t frustrated, waiting for a response that may not come until a later time.
There are many things homeowners need to be aware of before hiring a remodeling contractor. At Country Creek Builders we want you to ask us any and all questions; actually we want you to ask anyone you’re considering hiring these very important questions. If you have any additional questions about remodeling contractors or the hiring process of a remodeler, please feel free to call Country Creek Builders at 952-484-9812 or visit our website.