From Marielle Collins on January 22, 2014 in Tools and Tips
Choosing a contractor for a home remodeling project can be an intimidating process. Evaluating whether a contractor has the skill, commitment to quality and trustworthy reputation to work in the personal areas of your home can seem a daunting task. It is important to know the right questions to ask, things to look for and best avenues to determine the credibility of the company you are considering. Remodeling your home can often be a big investment of both time and money, so you want to be sure you have all the information before making any decisions.
Important Questions to Ask
It is important to ask many questions when requesting a quote from a contractor. Along with finding out the price and time frame, you want to determine the level of skill and quality of the company to determine if they are best suited to complete your job. Some important things to ask are how long they have been in business, how many similar projects they have completed in the past year, and what their approach to the project would be. Another good question to ask is how the existing parts of your home will be protected from dust, debris or the demolition itself to ensure correct precautions are taken while work is being completed. You should also ask specifically who will be doing the work, whether the contractor has employees or subcontractors, who will be responsible for opening and locking up your home, and who you would contact with questions, concerns or scheduling changes.
Some states require contractors to be licensed and this can be verified by contacting local government agencies. Also, confirm that the company carries workman compensation insurance for all employees so you cannot be held liable for any injuries that occur on your property, as well as liability insurance in case anything gets broken or goes wrong during the remodeling process.
It is acceptable to ask the contractor for a list of references you can contact in order to get feedback on their work. Also, online review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s list can be helpful in verifying the credibility of your contractor and reading reviews by former customers. Some contractors have certifications from national associations such as the National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) that recognizes a certain level of skill and knowledge. Certified Remodeler (CR) certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler (CKBR) or Green Certified Professional (GCP) are a few examples of certifications to keep in mind when selecting a contractor.
Finding a Reputable Contractor
Knowing where to look for a contractor is also an important part of the process. You want to get quotes from more than one person in order to compare prices, time frame and references to make the most informed decision. Utilizing an online service to locate contractors in your area can be a great way to find multiple certified and reputable contractors in your area. Along with all of your questions and research it is also important to listen to your own intuition during the meeting, how you feel about the conversation and the overall interaction. Some remodeling jobs can take months and you want to make sure you are comfortable with the person you allow into your home. Armed with the right information and a full arsenal of questions, you can feel confident when requesting a quote and making the final contractor decision.