Remodeling, when done right, can be a fun and creative experience. However, if you get stuck with a bad remodeling company it can be a nightmare of overdue deadlines, over-budget projects and low quality work. So, how do you avoid partnering with an unscrupulous company? By the end of this article you are going to know how to vet out your potential remodeler so that you partner with a company that will treat you fairly.
1. Do you have a license?
The first question you should ask a potential partner is whether they are licensed. This will help weed out any bad actors who are trying to make a quick buck off you. When a contractor has a license, it protects you, the customer, and shows that they have a basic understanding of what guidelines need to be followed per state and local regulations. Additionally, US law requires all licensed contractors to have insurance, which protects you in the event of an injury or other unfortunate event during the remodel.
2. Can I get a list of past customers as references and photos of their projects?
Another good way to verify a contractor’s work is to ask to see pictures of some of their previous work and to speak with the homeowners. This is a great way to see the quality of the contractor’s work and to ensure that they are someone you want to hire. From these conversations with previous customers you can discover:
- Do they communicate clearly and often with the homeowners?
- Do they remain under budget?
- Do they work quickly and efficiently?
Asking this question also lets you see their style of work and what they’re good at, helping ensure that they can complete the remodel to your specifications.
3. Who is on your team and what is their experience?
Remodeling companies are more than just a GC. They have many people who are talented at different tasks. Get to know who these people will be and what value they will be providing by being on the project. Additionally, because these people will be at your home everyday, it’s a good idea to get to know their faces and names.
4. How will revisions be managed?
Planning for contingencies is something your home remodeling company should have a plan to handle. Ask how they will manage changes or roadblocks to the plan. Inquiring about these things now, and discovering how billing will be handled if they occur, is important should they arise. In nearly every remodel there is sure to be something that comes up that wasn’t part of the original plan, and changes will have to be made accordingly.
This conversation is also a good time to clarify whether you would like the remodeling team to make decisions using their best judgement to save time and make the process more efficient, or if you would like decisions to be run by you first so that everything in the final project is exactly how you want it to be. Clarifying how you want changes to be handled and how the remodeling contractor manages contingencies is important to ask.
5. What’s your timeline and budget for my project?
The final thing that you should ask your remodeling company is how long and how much they expect the project to be. This will give you a good understanding of what you’ll be paying for and how long the project will last.
With these five questions you should be able to vet any remodeling company to determine if they are going to be a good fit for your home remodeling project.
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