Here at ASD, our well-informed clients are our best clients. Read on to learn what questions to ask when hiring a remodeling contractor.
It’s incredibly important to hire the right contractor. You’re putting your family home in the hands of another person. Of course, not everything goes perfectly with every renovation. But the more informed you are the easier it is to get the job done right.
Luckily, if you hire the right contractor, your project will move along smoothly. Unfortunately, hiring the wrong professional can mean personal and financial catastrophe. Renovations are challenging enough. Add shoddy labor and unethical business practices and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Being in this business for decades, we’ve heard the worst of these remodeling horror stories. Whether it’s unethical contractors, sketchy family members, or poorly done work, you don’t want your remodeling job to cause trouble.
To avoid a renovation horror story, you’ll need to hire a well-known company. Go with someone that’s trusted in your community and does quality work. Make sure your remodeling pro knows what he’s doing.
Below is our list of 5 questions to ask before you hire a remodeling contractor.
1. Are you licensed and insured?
Anything less than a resounding “Yes!” is unacceptable. Make sure to ask for copies of their insurance cards and business license.
Make sure they have workman’s comp insurance too. If they don’t, you’ll be on the hook for any personal injuries that happen during your remodeling project. If someone gets hurt on the job you don’t want to risk your personal assets. It’s your home we’re talking about.
And don’t take a contractor’s word for it. Look up their insurance companies yourself. Verify the contractor you’re considering is the one insured under the given policies. Double-check that they’re licensed in your state.
Go the extra mile and look for complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
Or read their client reviews on Yelp, Angie's List or Houzz. It’s an easy way to spot a lemon.
2. What's your estimated price and timeframe for this project?
Both the cost and the time to complete a project are important. They give you insight into the contractor’s operation.
If the contractor says he can do it cheaply and tomorrow, that’s enough to raise your eyebrow. That said, if you can’t get on his calendar until next year and it’s triple your budget? Well, they’re telling you they don’t want the project. Time to move on.
You need to find a remodeler who can get the work done right, on time, and on budget.
3. How many jobs do you complete per day?
At ASD we only schedule one kitchen per day. And, sometimes, it takes two days to finish the installation. Any quality kitchen install takes 1-2 days. When you want a job done right, it’s important to hire someone who doesn’t cut corners.
4. Who will be my point of contact?
The person who comes to your house and gives you an estimate won’t always be the one supervising the job site. Some companies have entire sales teams that provide their in-home estimates. But the salespeople never actually go to the jobs.
5. What's the process for change orders?
Even the best-planned remodeling project is likely to have a change or two along the way. Sometimes structural issues come up after you’ve already started the job. A product is back-ordered. Severe weather causes delivery issues.
If anything like that happens, changes need to be made to the schedule, budget, or materials. Professional contractors will communicate these issues to you directly. You’ll be made aware of them through a written document called a “change order”. It’s an amendment to the original contract that details prices, timelines, and scope of work. You should not only sign off on the original contract but any change orders as well.
Make sure you know who you need to reach out to in case of any questions or concerns. Remember to ask how to contact that point person.
Try to avoid “yes” or “no” questions. They’re too easy to answer. Instead of asking your contractor “Do you install granite?” ask “Which material do you suggest for this kitchen?” It gives them the chance to show their design expertise--or lack of it.
Want to get started?
When you’re interviewing remodeling kitchen & bath contractors, ask about more than price. You need to know about the company’s quality standards, design savvy, insurance, time frames, and management structure.
Ready to schedule your kitchen and bath remodel with Artistic Stone Design? Contact us to discuss your renovation plans today. We service the areas of Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Remember, At ASD we always offer free estimates.