Remodeling your home can feel overwhelming. Even positive changes can be stressful for most people, but on top of that, you’re worried about all of the things that could go wrong. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly research not only your construction options, but also your contractor. Always obtain quotes from at least three different professionals, and remember to ask them these five crucial questions.
What’s your plan? Simply obtaining a quote for the project isn’t good enough. Your remodeling contractor should explain to you, step by step, their plan for your project.
Are you licensed, and do you carry insurance? Ask whether the contractor is fully licensed to do the specified work, and whether any subcontractors (such as electricians or plumbers) are also licensed. There are a lot of fly-by-night “handymen” out there, passing themselves off as professionals. Your contractor should be able to provide you with a license number.
Also, you don’t want an expensive claim against your homeowners insurance policy. And because many homeowners insurance providers don’t cover liability issues that stem from unlicensed workers, you could even face a personal lawsuit. Make sure your contractor carries liability insurance to cover anything that might go wrong during the course of construction. Also, their workers should be protected by a policy, so that you aren’t on the hook for any mishaps.
Can I have a list of references? A good contractor should be able to provide you with a few names and numbers of previous clients, who can attest to the quality of their work.
How much deposit do you require? It is customary to require a deposit upfront, before work begins. But around ten percent is considered industry standard. Be wary of contractors who require, for example, fifty percent of the final price upfront.
Why is your quote so much lower than others? It’s tempting to go with the lowest bid, because who doesn’t love saving money? But if a particular contractor’s quote is significantly lower than the competition, something could be amiss. Perhaps he’s not licensed and insured, or uses inferior materials, or something else that you need to know about.
We’re always happy to answer all of these questions, and anything else you might need to know! If you’re searching for a remodeling contractor, give us a call and we’ll be happy to offer you a fair quote, references, and other pertinent information.