Finding the right company to handle your home remodel is the first step in your newest venture. In most cities, there are typically a few contractors covering the same area. Having options is never a bad thing, but it can make it difficult for you to narrow it down to the best one. That’s why we put together a list of the most critical questions you should ask potential home contractors before you hire them.
Here are the top six:
How long have you been in business?
In the business of home remodeling, experience matter! Contracting businesses that have been handling projects for many years have certainly obtained the techniques and years of training needed for your remodel. Companies with experience are also better equipped to manage their time correctly, budgets, and assure the highest quality.
Do your research ahead of time by asking the contracting company their experience in the field. If your instincts are telling you to go with them, you can ask for pictures of past projects, as well as, a list of references. Ultimately, contractors should be open about their experience so you can trust them with your project.
Do you have a contracting license?
Another important aspect of home remodeling is proper licensing. Contractors require different licenses depending on the state or county they do business. Make sure that whichever company you hire has the appropriate training and permits needed for your project. Otherwise, you could risk your project stopping mid-remodel when the government steps in.
Because states and individual vary in licensing requirements, it’s best to call your local government before hiring a contracting company. If you live in Utah, please refer to the Utah State Legislature website for more information on the Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act.
What kind of insurance do you have?
Although you have homeowner insurance, it’s important that you know that your remodeling contractor is insured as well. Contractors should prove that they have both workers’ compensation and liability insurance beforehand so that they are covered in the event of a mishap on the job site. When looking through their coverage pay attention to the details surrounding home remodels. Taking a look at these certificates will give you the confidence that they and you are covered no matter what happens.
Do you hire subcontractors?
Many home remodeling companies rely on subcontractors to complete their renovation projects. For instance, a general contractor could hire an electrician to complete the wiring on your remodel. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you should make sure that all of their subcontractors meet your standards, as well. If they aren’t reliable, they could significantly decrease the efficiency of your project. Before hiring your contractor, ask to meet with all sub-contractors so that you can do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line.
What do your past customers say about you?
Word-of-mouth goes a long way. Before meeting with each potential home remodeling company, scan their online reviews. Customer reviews are a great way to get a sense of how the company operates. However, don’t solely rely on these reviews because many reviews come from disgruntled customers looking to vent their frustrations. Take those reviews into consideration but also ask the company for a list of references during your initial meeting. These references along with the business’s online reviews will give you a complete look at what your project will entail like you hired that contractor.
How long will the project take?
Timelines are an essential part of any remodeling project. It is not hard to find a friend who has hired a remodeling company only to have their plan take twice as long as expected. No matter your timetable, make sure that you and your contractor communicate expectations and time estimates clearly.
At the end of the day, your remodeling contractor should meet all of your expectations. Work with them to communicate what you need and ask them for honesty in their answers. Use these questions as a jumping off point, and you are likely to have an open dialogue that ensures you get the best contractor available.
For more information about our home remodeling services, contact the Aspire Construction team. We are here to answer all of these questions and more.