Hiring a remodel contractor is a big leap of faith. Not only are you trusting them to come into your home and leave you with a job well done, but you also need to be able to trust them to manage your money well and not cut corners to increase their profits. Knowing what to ask and what to expect will help you hire a good remodel contractor.
What to Ask a Remodel Contractor
Do they offer a warranty?
At least a 1-year warranty is something you will want to get from a remodel contractor. This shows that they stand behind the quality of their work and will be there if something goes wrong after the job is completed.
Do they guarantee they will only bill you what they quote you?
Surprise expenses are never fun. It is not unusual for additional costs to arise during a project, but you need to know that they will never try to spring extra fees on your or sneak them into an invoice without first consulting you.
Do they have a written agreement with employees and trade contractors to ensure their performance?
Even if the remodel contractor you meet with seems like a great guy, how do you know his employees are? Make sure everyone involved in the project will be held to a high standard of work.
How long does it normally take them to respond to client calls or questions?
Another huge complaint about remodel contractors is that clients cannot seem to ever get ahold of them. Don’t end up with someone who dodges your calls. By asking them directly about their time frame, you can get an idea of how important it is to them to respond to their clients.
Why the Free Bid System Is Not the Best Route
Bid systems are a popular way to get quotes for large projects. For a home owner though, a bid system will only encourage you to go with the lowest bid, which will not always give you the best work. On multi-million dollar projects there is room to trim the fat and get a competitive bid, but on a home renovation, the lowest bid is probably not the bid you want to pick.
This is not to say you shouldn’t get a few quotes before you settle on a contractor, just don’t encourage a system where you will pick a remodel contractor based solely on price. Ask them the important questions, take a look at their past work, and select them based on all of these factors combined.
Find Someone Who is Willing to Stand Behind their Work
In a situation where a lot is at stake, trust is a central factor to the success of the professional relationship. Watch for red flags like contractors being unwilling to show images from past projects or excusing bad workmanship by having “bad clients.” Find a remodel contractor who takes pride in their work and can’t wait to show you their portfolio. If he or she is confident in the quality of his or her work, not only will they have a number of past clients that back them up, but he or she will be willing to stand by the work they do on your house.
How to Hire a Good Remodel Contractor
When trying to figure out how to hire a good remodel contractor, it is important to know what questions to ask and how to spot red flags.
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