June 11

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Questions to Ask a Remodeling Contractor

By finnteriors

June 11, 2019


Finding the right contractor can be a stressful process. We’ve all heard the horror stories of contractors taking off with the money before finishing the work. It does not have to end this way if you do proper research and ask the right questions. Do not just rely on recommendations from friends and family members.

Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

There are plenty of questions to ask a contractor before they begin work on remodeling your home. Here we’ve outlined a few crucial inquiries of contractors before confidently choosing the right one to hire.

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Research

Now that you have decided on what area of your home to remodel, your search for a contractor begins.  The Better Business Bureau provides pertinent information such as accreditation and the contractor’s rating. There should also be a history of complaints and customer reviews to help narrow your list of contenders. 

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- Finnteriors’ Professional Associations -

Memberships in professional associations show commitment to the industry. They offer added training and research materials to contractors to stay up to date with practices. Asking questions such as those below will assist in your search.

  • Are they EPA Lead-Safe Certified?
  • Have you ever done business under a different name?
  • Have you been involved with any legal disputes from a previous project?

Experience

Contractors that have been around for many years have procedures in place to ensure their work is on time and of high quality. Make sure they are financially sound.  You want them to be around to service any warranties after the remodel is complete. They should have experience working on the type of project you want to be completed.

Ask about the experience of their employees.  Always ask the contractor for references.  A reputable contractor should be able to give you a list of previous customers to contact about their work. Extra questions to ask are:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you hire subcontractors?
  • What is your process of choosing a subcontractor? 
  • Do you have a good reputation with suppliers?
  • Can I see projects, both previous and those in progress?

Licensing & Insurance

To do work in your home, ensure that the contractor has the proper licensing and insurance. Some states require licensing while others require registration.  Licensing involves passing exams and proving competency in a trade. Registration, however, is just a written record of who is doing the remodel. It does not mean they have expertise in that area. 

Contractors should have both workers’ compensation and liability insurance in case of accidents during the remodeling project. Related questions:

  • Can I look at your certificate of insurance?
  • Are the subcontractors covered by your liability and workers compensation insurance?

Communication

Open communication with your contractor is necessary. You should be in close contact with your contractor for the entire remodel process. They should provide answers to the following questions:

  • Who will be the main contact or project manager for the remodeling project?
  • Will the project manager be on site to oversee the project? If so, how often will he/she stop by to check on progress?
  • How do you handle unforeseen issues?
  • Can you obtain any necessary permits for the remodeling project?

Contracts

A contract should list the responsibilities of the contractor and the homeowner.   It should include the contractor’s contact information, their insurance company, and license number.  Scope of the project should be detailed along with the type of materials and equipment being used. A schedule of payments must explain how much is due and when. Never pay in full upfront.  Acquire at least three cost estimates before choosing a contractor.

If the contract doesn’t already contain the following information, get answers to these questions before signing:

  • How much time will it take to complete the remodel?
  • Can you give me a detailed timeline with itemized sub-projects?
  • Is there a service warranty included?
  • If the work does not pass inspection, who pays for corrections?

If changes are made to the work requirements by you or the contractor, make sure there is a written change order signed by both the contractor and homeowner. 

Schedule and Site Clean-Up

After you’ve chosen a contractor for your remodeling project, discuss the details about their daily schedule, like start and end times, clean-up and storage of equipment. Who will be responsible for removing debris from the home? Homeowners also need to consider the security of their home during a remodeling project. Make sure the contractor is bonded and insured.

Service You Deserve

If experience and integrity are what you’re looking for in a remodeling contractor, then choose Finnteriors Construction.  Finnteriors is one of the most referred general contracting companies in the St. Louis area.  For over 20 years, we’ve continued to provide exceptional service and results to homeowners. Contact us today for your next remodel project.

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