In most cities, there are roughly two or three home remodeling contractors servicing the same area. In more densely populated areas, there could be more. Finding the best contractor for your home remodeling project might be as simple as checking reviews and rating on Google. However, with complex projects of a larger scale, a little extra research could mean the difference between a good remodeling experience and a great one.
That being said, there are a couple critical questions you should ask potential home remodeling contractors before you decide to work with them.
Here are our top 3 recommendations:
1. “What projects do you specialize in?”
A lot of design-build companies and contractors usually choose one or two aspects of home remodeling to specialize in. You do have your occasional Jack-of-all-Trades who handle everything from exterior designs to intricate in-wall rewiring, but those are few and far between. In most cases, it’s better to work with home remodeling contractors who focus purely on remodeling, anyway.
Before you start filtering through potential contractors, take a moment to plan out a rough outline of what you want to do with your home. For example, you might want to remodel your kitchen and living room, and you know for a fact that you’ll be adding a couple new appliances which may require one or two new electrical outlets. You also want to turn your general living room into an open floor plan, which might entail getting rid of some load-bearing walls.
Also consider attending a local remodeling seminar where you can learn valuable insights on a remodeling project.
2. “Are you licensed? Where or how can I see a copy of your license?”
All states require businesses to have licenses and permits in order to operate. You need to make sure that the design-build contractor you’re working with has legally gone through all the necessary channels to acquire the paperwork specific to their industry.
But on that note, a business license/permit is not the only thing you should be looking for. You need to make sure that the home remodeling contractors you want to work with are licensed practitioners—not just general laborers.
If they’re legally licensed, they’ll be happy to show you a copy of their certification. Some might even upload a scanned copy to their website for easy viewing. You can bypass this and search your state’s Secretary of State website to verify that their licensed, but it’s a point in their favor if they can give proof without hesitation.
3. “Do you offer workman’s compensation? What other types of insurance do you carry?”
Here’s why worker’s compensation is important; if a contractor or laborer gets hurt while working in your home, on your project, then you will most likely be held liable. With workers’ compensation, however, you’re assured that the laborer gets the medical aid he needs without you having to pay for it.
On the other hand, liabilities insurance is just as important. Say a contractor accidentally hits a major water pipe during construction and causes minor flooding which, ultimately, spells doom for your hardwood floors. Although professionals are trained to be as careful as prudent as possible during projects, accidents do happen. If they carry liability insurance for the types of jobs they perform, they’ll cover the cost of repairs and replacements.
When sourcing great home remodeling contractors to work with, it’s a given to ask questions about timelines, budgets, and any additional fees. These three questions, on the other hand, are usually forgotten or asked too late, when the contract’s already been signed. Ensure your safety and your home’s integrity by asking these three questions during the initial meeting, and make sure the answers are to your standards before agreeing to anything.