The average cost for a home renovation is $46,748 in the US.
Remodeling your home is no small task. Depending on your overall plan, it can involve a lot of work and money. You want to be confident that things are done right, and the best way to ensure this is to hire a reliable remodeling contractor.
The issue is that there are so many contractors around. How can you be sure that you’re hiring the best one for the job?
In this guide, we’ll go over nine key questions to ask a remodeling contractor before hiring them. Keep reading for more.
- Have You Worked On Similar Projects Before?
Experience is one of the most important things. It’s essential to make sure you’re hiring a general contractor that knows what they’re doing. Check with them to see if they’ve completed projects in the past similar to yours.
If so, find out how many. Having done something similar once can help, but if they’ve done it 50 times, you can be confident they know exactly what’s required.
A contractor that has done plenty of new home builds might be perfect for that kind of project. If they don’t generally do remodels, however, they probably won’t be the best choice for you.
It’s important to note that residential contractors and commercial contractors generally work on different projects. For a home remodel, you want to go with a residential contractor.
- What Is Your Process?
Remodeling plans can be very complicated, so you want to work with a contractor that knows how to lay things out from start to finish. A contractor with a clear and defined process will be able to explain how the project will pan out and can guide you through the whole thing.
If they can do this, it shows they understand what you expect from them and that they can communicate effectively. It’s ideal if they handle all stages of the project, and if they don’t, you want to know early on what parts they don’t take care of.
- Are You Licensed and Insured?
Regulations can vary by state and even by county. You should only work with a contractor that’s properly licensed and insured in your area. If they’re not, you could be vulnerable, and if anything goes wrong, it could have devastating results.
No matter how reliable a contractor is, things can always go wrong. If there’s any damage to your home, proper insurance will make sure the cost is covered. Make sure the contractor has liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and any state licenses that they need.
- Can You Provide Past Referrals?
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, testimonials, or reviews from past customers. Any contractor that produces quality work should have no shortage of these. In many cases, you’ll be able to find these on their website or Google.
The experiences of past customers will give you a good idea of how reliable a company is. They may even offer insights into the specific home upgrades the contractor has done in the past.
You may come across some bad reviews, but if this is the minority, the contractor may be able to justify them. You can ask them about negative reviews to hear their side of the story, helping you determine if they’re suitable or not.
- Will You Take Care of Permits?
This is something you may or may not need to worry about depending on the work being done. Anything that fundamentally changes the structure of a home will require certain permits, and any professional contractor should know exactly which ones. They’ll also know how to get them, but whether they will is another matter.
It takes both time and money to acquire permits, so some contractors won’t want to do this. It can be difficult to get the right ones for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. You’ll have a much easier time if you go with a contractor that will take care of this for you.
- What Is Your Schedule?
Home remodeling can take a long time, and things will go faster with a contractor that’s well-organized. You can tell this by asking what their schedule is.
If they can give you a suitable schedule before starting work, you can trust they’ll keep things in order. If not, they might be the kind of contractor that quickly falls into a messy workflow. The result of this will likely be a longer project with higher costs.
- Can You Give Me an Estimated Timeline for Completion?
Once the contractor has a good understanding of everything that will go into your project, they should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take. You can ask for an overall timeline as well as a schedule that details certain milestones. This will make it easier for you to keep track of everything that’s going on.
Bear in mind that this is just an estimate, and the actual timeline could be different. There’s always a possibility of unexpected issues, so don’t be surprised if it’s not finished exactly on time.
- How Will Payment Work?
Aside from the actual cost of the project, you need to know how the contractor wants to be paid. Some will want payment before getting started, but you should agree on a schedule so you both know what to expect.
In most cases, you’ll make a payment after each milestone, with the final payment at the end of the whole project.
- Can You Itemize Your Bid?
Some contractors will want to give a single bottom-line price. The issue with this is that you won’t know how much each aspect of the remodel costs. Some different items you could expect to see are:
- Electrical work
- Demolition and hauling of trash
- Drywall and painting
- Framing and carpentry
This will offer some transparency so you know you’re not being taken advantage of. It also makes it easier to compare with other contractors.
Finding the Right Remodeling Contractor for Your Home
If you’re in need of some home updates, you want to take your time to find a suitable remodeling contractor. Ask these vital questions to ensure you settle on one that will do a good job and not cause any issues.
Nucone Construction is a fully licensed general contractor. We can take care of any residential remodeling project and offer a range of other services. Take a look at our services page to find out more about how we can help you with your project.