How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor: 4 Questions Your Contractor
Wishes You’d Ask
Hiring a contractor is a big decision– and an even bigger responsibility! Whether your home renovation goals are an entirely new first floor or simply a more modern master bath, it’s almost always in your best interest to hire a professional remodeling contractor. Even the seemingly smallest renovation project often requires more time, experience, and expertise than the average homeowner realizes — and far more than most homeowners have! Asking the right questions will ensure that the project runs smoothly from start to finish, so it’s important not to skip out on this step in order to protect yourself. Not only do you have to make sure that they are properly qualified, reliable, and affordable – you also need to be aware of the questions you should ask your contractor. Below, we offer our top four tips for things to ask before hiring a remodeling contractor.
How many jobs like this have you done?
Before you make a decision on who to hire for your home remodeling project, it is important to know the contractor’s experience and expertise. Doing your homework is critical before signing any paperwork (bonus pro tip: once you’ve found your remodeling contractor, make sure to get every last detail in writing). An effective way to judge their qualifications is by asking them how many projects they have completed in the past.
Contractors have a range of experience and the number of jobs they have done can help you gauge their level of skill and knowledge. Digging into how long they have been in practice or how recently they took on a certain size project helps get an understanding of whether or not they are suitable to complete your job as well. Asking questions about their work also gives you a clue as to whether their style and approach align with what you are trying to achieve with your remodeling project. One of the most important questions you can — and should — ask your prospective contractor is what experience they have with projects like yours. After all, the contractor who did a phenomenal job with your cousin’s new garage may be completely wrong for your ambitious kitchen project — and a good contractor will tell you when something is outside their realm of expertise. Alongside this, consider also asking what kinds of special certifications and licenses they hold (e.g., LEED certification).
How are change orders managed? (And what happens when something runs over budget?)
If you’ve ever watched more than thirty seconds of HGTV, you already know that the bigger the renovation project, the more likely it is that something unexpected will happen — and more often than not, will impact your projected budget. When considering remodeling your home, it is important to be aware of budget constraints since the cost of remodeling can quickly spiral out of control. Asking a respected remodeling contractor what should happen if something goes over budget is one of the best ways to protect yourself from extensive costs. They will typically advise you to look at ways to cut corners or reallocate resources, so you can save on expenses while getting the desired results. Knowing this information ahead of time prepares homeowners for any potential overruns, allowing them to make sound decisions without worrying about an unplanned increase in their budget. While there’s no accounting for every potential surprise, an experienced contractor will know what common diversions happen in a given project and should have a procedure in place for dealing with them (after all, there’s no way you’re the first person to find mold behind their old bathroom tiles).
Do you have a dedicated team for this project?
Before selecting a remodeling contractor for your home project, it is important to inquire about the professionals who will be working on the site. While this may seem like an odd question at first, consider the realities of hiring a contractor and having your home remodeled. This is a team of people who will be in and out of your home for potentially weeks on end. Ask how long they have been in business and how experienced the team members are with similar projects. Inquire into their credentials and whether they have liability insurance in case of any mishaps. Be sure to ask if they use subcontractors or hire outside labor so you know exactly who is working on your property. And don’t forget to review references and read reviews online!
By asking all of these questions, you can ensure that you are hiring a reliable and reputable contractor that will handle your renovations with the utmost care and respect. If you’re not comfortable with a revolving door of sub-contractors in your space, make sure you confirm a guest list with your project manager before they’re taking a sledgehammer to your cabinets.
What kind of insurance and workers’ safety measures do you have in place?
When you are considering a remodeling contractor for your next project, make sure to inquire about their insurance and safety measures for their workers. Depending on where you’re located, small businesses like remodeling contractors aren’t required to carry workers’ compensation or have liability insurance coverage beyond a minimum. While the risk of injury shouldn’t be high with an experienced team, any time someone on your property is injured without proper liability insurance coverage, you can be held liable.
Doing your due diligence is an important part of selecting the right contractor; you want to make sure that any company you select is not only responsible in the quality of their work but also in caring for their employees. Spending the time up front to ask about insurance information and safety guidelines will help protect everyone involved should a problem arise during the process. With the cautious consideration upfront, you can rest assured that your remodeling project will be completed with ease. Always ask to see copies of your contractors’ insurance certificates.
If you’re considering a remodeling project or in the process of hiring a contractor, reach out to Perimeter Remodeling for a free consultation today! Our contractors are fully licensed, insured, and come with decades of experience on all kinds of renovations in the Atlanta area.