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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Remodelling Company

While remodeling your house, it is crucial to connect with your contractor based on your vision. Choosing the right contractor is indeed a tough job when each one of them is promising you heaps. This job gets much easier when you understand which are the questions that need to be asked when you interview them. It will allow you to know how much your project means to them and how much of their resources they are going to pool in, to deliver as much as they have promised. 



Q1. How experienced are you in this industry?

Don’t look for a decent number of years as the answer to this because quantity over quality is not what you should be looking for. Instead, look for 10-20 references whom you can contact to get a genuine review of their work. 

Q2. Have you been licensed?

The answer should be yes. But the catch here is that only a few states require contractors to get a license before starting their practice. But a licensed contractor is going to be answerable to you and the contracting agency will help you resolve your issues if any. It will act as your much-needed safety backup. 

Q3. Are all your employees insured under the workman’s comp insurance? 

In case any of the workmen meet with an accident while working on your property, you might be held responsible for it if they are not insured. In this case, the workman’s comp insurance might safeguard you from any such unprecedented blame. 

Q4. Will you insure the things in my home during the time of your work?

They should be very prompt at answering positively to this. Any such remodeling work comes with its own share of risks. When any accident happens, you should not be held responsible for the same. So, before you give them the project, you should reach a middle ground with this point. 

Q5. Are you or your company affiliated with any professional organization? If yes, then which?

Professional affiliation with an organization validates that your contractor has been trained well and has a good network for supplies. This association is indeed valuableand needs to be taken into account before finalizing the contractor. 

Q6. Can you give me a list of projects that you have worked on and the corresponding references?

Talking to the references helps you validate the credibility of your contractor. Nothing speaks better than the track record of a person. The National Association of Remodelling Industry gives you a list of questions that will help you with this decision. (https://www.nari.org/consumers/homeowner-resources/)

Q7. What will the tentative timeline for the project be? 

Your contractor should be able to give you a specific period like six months or so while adding some cushion time keeping all the issues and unforeseen delays in mind. Sometimes the task of designating timelines can be difficult. At such times your refuge might be the “time and materials” contract. 

Q8. Would you like to sign a “time and materials” contract?

In some cases, due to unexpected damage, your project might take up some extra time, thus increasing your project cost. It might leave you with a half-finished project, which will cost you twice as much. A “time and materials” contract establishes the cost of labour and materials in case of any unexpected event making the anticipated answer a yes. 

Q9. How frequently do you match up to the project completion date that you specify in your timeline? 

Their answer to this question will speak loads about how promising they are. Contractors tend to take on more projects than they can handle. This only affects how they deliver in each one of them. So, the ideal answer would be “most of the time”.

Q10. How often will you be at the site to oversee the work? 

If their answer is “all the time,” then you are safe. Your contractor places enough value in your project that he will be there to make sure that work is going on par with the timeline. In case they say that they won’t be on-site all the time, then you need to ask the following question. 

Q11. How frequently will you stop by the site to check on the progress?

If your contractor intends to stop by the site on a daily basis to at least be aware of the proceedings, then yours is going to be a decent deal. If they don’t plan on coming daily to the site, then you need to ask the following question. 

Q12. Who is going to be the on-site project manager? 

Expect to be given the name of the person along with their contact details. He/she will be your go-to person in case you find any discrepancies with the work or in case you want an update on the progress. Once they have given you the name of the person, the next question should be in line. 

Q13. Will you be updating me on the progress daily? 

You should take yes as the only answer. The chances are that if your contractor isn’t on-site daily or is not keeping track of your work, then the work isn’t going as well as it should be going. 

Q14. Will you be pulling the permits required for this job, if any?

The laws about who gets the permit varies depending on the state/city. But preferably the contractors should pull these permits as they know the legalities behind it and whom to visit in case something is needed.

Q15. Would you be drafting a detailed contract specifying the timeline and the cost of materials and labour along with a termination clause?

A contractor might promise you a lot of things and yet deliver quite less. In such a case, a written contract with details about all the things mentioned above will come to your rescue. Make sure that you are well-versed with the contract and have a copy of the same with the contractor’s sign and date. 

Q16. Will I get some guarantee on the work, and if yes, what will it be? 

You can expect them to give you a time frame of 6 months or so. After all, you would not want to put your precious money and time into something that hasn’t been warranted for. Contractors can give you a guarantee against two types of problems: 

  • Defective materials 
  • Workmanship issues
You should have these guarantees in a written format, clearly stating how much the contractor guarantee will be and under what circumstances.  

Q17. What will the daily work schedule be?

The contractor should be able to give you specific hours of the day with specific days of the week. Contractors who refuse to do so might not be that accountable and regular. A professional contractor will convey the schedule and adhere to it throughout the duration of the work. 

Q19. Have you been involved with any legal issues with regard to any previous project? 

You should expect an honest answer from your contractor for this question. If there happens to be any legal question, then you can ask them about the specifics to ensure that no such thing will happen with your case too. 

Q20. What are your payment terms? 

Different contractors will have different approaches to this. In any case, you should not make the full payment prior to the project completion and definitely not without a thorough inspection of the work. You should try to come up with a payment plan that corresponds with the progress made. 

Q21. Would you be including a termination clause in a co-written contract?

The hiring contract should have a detailed clause for termination of the project by any of the two parties. The terms of the clause should be designed with the agreement of both parties to ensure fairness. For example, if the contractor doesn’t show up for work, then the homeowner should be able to terminate the contract without any penalty; or if the homeowner stops the contractor from working, then the contractor can walk out without any penalty. 

Renovations are an exciting but risky job; it is always better to keep yourself as equipped as possible before you venture into this. Asking these questions will come to your rescue for sure, do give them a try.

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