How to Hire a Home Remodeling Contractor
Home remodeling contractors are responsible for arranging all of the details that go into a major renovation project. They’ll create a schedule, obtain all necessary permits, hire designers, suppliers, technicians and more. They also act as your main point of contact for communication and will make sure that everyone is on the same page, working together to complete your home remodel.
Before hiring a contractor, interview potential candidates by asking questions that match your expectations and goals for the project. Ask for references, examine portfolios of past work, check licensing and gather competitive bids to compare prices before making a decision.
During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. It’s better to ask them now than to be surprised at the end of the project when you discover a problem with the quality or workmanship.
Ask the contractor for a list of references and follow up with them by calling to verify their information. Also, visit finished projects that the contractor has completed. Check for quality of workmanship, timeliness and the ability to meet budget expectations. Red flags can include a few too many gaps in a reference’s schedule or an unwillingness to provide more information about their experience.
If a contractor is hesitant to provide insurance information, or doesn’t have worker’s compensation and liability coverage, cross them off your list. It’s important that all workers on a job site are covered in case they get injured or your property is damaged.
In addition to asking about their insurance, it’s a good idea to inquire about the contractor’s safety and training policies. You want to be certain that the company has policies in place to keep their employees safe and that they have the right training and certifications for the types of jobs they perform.
Depending on the type of renovation project, it may be helpful to ask about the contractor’s on-site management strategies. This is particularly important if you’re planning an extensive renovation that will require the use of heavy equipment or dangerous chemicals.
Ask how the contractor plans to protect your belongings and keep dust and debris contained while they’re working. It’s important that they be able to recommend and facilitate a solution should something go wrong during the project, such as a water leak or a broken family heirloom from being hit by a hammer.
Inquire about how they communicate with clients, their team members and subcontractors, including the frequency of meetings and what their preferred method is for sharing updates. A contractor who doesn’t have a system for managing communications can be frustrating during a renovation. Also, find out if they’ll have a dedicated project manager and who will be your primary point of contact. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, and you need to feel comfortable that you can trust them.