4 Questions to Help You Find the Right Contractor

Choosing a contractor for your remodeling project is going to be the most important decision you’ll make during your project. Finding the right contractor for you and your project will help ensure quality work completed in a timely fashion. Above all, it’s going to measure the amount of stress this remodel is going to heap upon you. There’s no such thing as a perfect contractor any more than there’s such a thing as a stress-free remodeling project. That said; go in with the right questions and the right background knowledge and you seriously increase the odds of finding a competent contractor to help you realize a successful remodel!

What Questions Should You Ask?

 

Question 1 – Do You Have All The Proper Forms Of Insurance?

Sure, this seems simple enough but not enough people ask. Beyond that, most people don’t follow through and verify that the contractor does in fact have coverage. The last thing you want is an injured workman on your site working for a contractor that doesn’t have any sort of workman’s compensation.

Question 2 – How Long Have You Been In Business?

You might be wondering, in the grand scheme of things, what kind of importance this question has. The answer, a lot! How long a contractor/remodeler has been in business alone gives you a wealth of information. If a contractor has made it five years or more in the business then they’re probably a lot more secure and financially stable. A contractor that’s been in business for several years has built up a network of supplies and subcontractors and above all, that contractor has a reputation to uphold. What this question ultimately translates to is greater reassurance that your contractor will actually be around down the line to follow up on any sort of warranty and service claims.

Question 3 – Will You Give Me An Itemized Bid at a Fixed Price?

In spite of the best laid plans there are changes in almost every remodeling project. Getting an itemized bid for the project helps you better understand what costs are associated with each task. Should you decide to change something you’ll have a much better idea of what that change is going to cost or save you! It’s also going to make it easier to compare their bid to their competitors. Should any complications arise down the line having that itemized bid is valuable evidence for resolving disputes. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to get in there and examine your space well enough to give you a fixed price plan. You don’t need a bill that is astronomically different from the contractors bid price.

Question 4 – Can I See Some References Please?

It’s not so much about asking for references but about asking for specific references. Ask for a reference from a current or recently completed project, as well as for one from several years ago. This loops back around to whether or not this potential contractor has good, established relationships with his clients. Most importantly, actually follow through on the references. A lot of people feel uncomfortable committing to contacting a reference. It can really be outside our comfort zone. But remember, you’re probably spending several thousand dollars on this job. Can you afford not to do your due diligence?

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What other questions should homeowners ask potential contractors? Did you miss anything important when looking for a contractor for your home? What was the impact? Share with us below or on Facebook and Twitter!

26 Comments

  • Jeff Madison says:

    I like your tip on asking a home remodel contractor if they have the proper forms of insurance. I would imagine that having the right insurance would be a mark of a professional and experienced company. My wife and I are looking for someone to help with some home renovations so maybe we should find someone who has all the right insurance.

  • Nash Rich says:

    I think the amount of time a contractor has been in business, says a lot about the quality that’s performed. The longer, they’ve been in business, the better. I also agree that they should have the right coverage, because accidents happen!

  • Knowing if they have proper insurance is very important when it comes to finding the right contractor. It does seem like it would be a good idea to have insurance on a remodeling project. There are so many different things that can go wrong in a construction project and you want to be covered for things like that. I know that Iw ould have more peace of mind about the project if I was covered.

  • Rachel says:

    Connecting with past clients is a great way to see what work this contractor has done in the past, and will show you what you can expect from them with your project. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  • Sarah Smith says:

    I want to get new siding installed for my house. Thanks for the advice about how you should get a contractor that has the proper insurance. It would also be smart to your siding installed by a licensed professional.

  • I appreciate your tip on asking a remodeling contractor how long they have been in business. I would imagine that finding someone who has many years of experience to do your remodel would be best. My husband and I want to hire a contractor to help us remodel our kitchen so we’ll be sure to find someone with plenty of experience.

  • I’d say you’re probably right about how people really ask if a contractor is insured or not. That’s something that’s never come across my mind to ask before. For the most part, I think it’ll be ok as long as you’re researching the company before hiring them.

  • Thanks for the outstanding advice, it really is useful.

  • Drew says:

    Great list of questions to ask potential contractors. Getting to know a company before you hire them is a nice way to make an informed decision.

  • You said that asking for references is very important when looking for a contractor. This seems like logical advice, considering they will be working on the most important item you own; your home. I will definitely recommend this to my Mom who is thinking about hiring a contractor.

  • Maggie says:

    I really like your third question about having a bid at a fixed price. When you ask the contractor to inspect the area thoroughly enough to allow you to have a fixed price plan, it becomes a lot easier to plan all of the stuff around the remodeling. You’d be able to order the tile, flooring, and fixtures ahead of time instead of waiting until after has already been done. That means you could also have a larger window of time for finding good deals, which could save you a ton of money!

  • Scott says:

    I like that you suggest to get an itemized bid at a fixed price. I can see why this would help you have a better understanding of what things will cost how much. My mom is wanting to remodel her kitchen. I’ll have to point this out to her when she is hiring a contractor.

  • I really like what was said about asking for references. When it comes to remodeling your home, it is a very expensive task and so if you have a contractor with previous clients who are really happy with their work, then you are good to go. I can only imagine how much pressure home remodeling contractors are under so just be sure to cut them some slack.

  • These tips about finding the right contractor are so helpful! Being in the middle of a remodel, I can imagine how important it would be to find a good contractor. I never thought to ask for references before from recent and older completed projects.

  • Jenna Hunter says:

    It was a great idea to ask them to get in there and examine your space well enough to give you a fixed price plan. My parents re-did their bathroom and once it was done they ended up paying $500 extra for the new toilet. I will be sure to ask the contractor if they can give me a fixed price plan as to make sure to not overspend!

  • In your article, you stated that if a contractor has made it five years or more in the business then they’re probably a lot more secure and financially stable. My wife has been bugging me all summer about remodeling our kitchen and dining room. I wonder if there are certain permits that are needed to start this type of project.

  • I agree that you need to consider if they have the right insurance before you hire a renovation contractor. I would imagine that you would want to find someone who is properly insured to protect you and them both. I’m looking for someone to help with a renovation contractor so I’ll have to be sure they have insurance.

  • John Mahoney says:

    I agree that it is important to hire a contractor that has insurance. It makes sense that remembering this can help you make sure you get quality work and that you are covered in case of accidents. I would ant to hire someone I trust and who cares about getting the job done right the first time around.

  • Luke Smith says:

    I really appreciate that the first two questions you recommend asking contractors are about their insurance and their amount of time in the business. I can definitely see how these two points would be some of the most important bits of information to get when making a decision about who to hire for your work. I would think it would also be important to make sure that they are able to handle whatever specific jobs you need done.

  • Frank Delaware says:

    My wife and I noticed that the siding on our house is getting pretty beat up, and we were thinking about getting someone to install some new ones. I never even considered asking them about how many years they have been in service to find out how secure and knowledgeable they are! It would be nice to know that they have helped a lot of people with siding and that they might have worked on something similar.

  • Olivia Nelson says:

    I agree that you would want to find how long a renovation contractor has been in business. It would seem that you would want to find someone who is in business for a long time because this denotes experience. I’m looking for a renovation contractor to help remodel my kitchen so I’ll have to check how long they have been operating.

  • Chris Winters says:

    Katie, I can see why you would want to ask for an itemized bid when looking for a roof contractor. My roof shingles have started to break and fall apart. I definitely think that I should find a service that could repair it before the rainy season begins and causes some water damage.

  • Afton Jackson says:

    In a few months, my brother will have a home built for his family. The area doesn’t have access to public utilities, so he’s looking for a good water well contractor. I never took into consideration how important it is to make sure a company has the proper insurance to insure you aren’t liable for any damages. This info will definitely help my brother. http://www.jacksonwellservices.com/services

  • Harper Campbell says:

    It’s good to know that when it comes to hiring a construction contractor, that one of the questions that might be good to ask them is if they will give us an itemized bid as a fixed price. It will be nice to know what it is we are exactly paying for, and if we change something then how much that will cost us. This will really help us be able to create a budget for building our future home. http://www.allconnsw.com.au/services

  • Ernest London says:

    I like that you mentioned to ask about references from a recently completed project. That way, you can hear from recent customers and gauge a contractors skill and service. I want to do a large remodel on my home, so I am trying to find the right contractor. I will remember to ask for references before I choose thanks. http://kingsremodel.com/ourservices/

  • Ashley Maxwell says:

    Thanks for your comment about how the contractors you hire have workman’s compensation. I like how you said that they should be working in their business for at least a few years. My father is considering remodeling contractors to do some construction to their home by adding an extension. http://www.zoomconstructionllc.com/homeconstruction

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