Choosing a Contractor for Your Remodel: Ask These Important Questions

Important questions to ask your contractor before signing a contract for a remodel of your home. PS- Always have a contract!

Working with a Contractor

We love contractors- in fact they are an essential part of your remodel. You can expect them to order the correct amount of product, coordinate the subcontractors (paint, drywall, tilers, electrician, plumbers), oversee the schedule & more.

If you are getting ready to jump into a remodel, it’s important to interview potential contractors for the job. And before you start that process, it’s even better to have a handle on the design- at a minimum, photos of inspiration/expectation so that your contractor can give you an accurate quote for the work.

Have a contractor or two come out for a quote to discuss the project.

It’s helpful to have the “Specification Sheets” printed out for things like the shower, toilet and fan so that the contractor can confirm they will work in your space.

ABSOLUTE MUST HAVES

  • If the specific items won’t work, they can provide an appropriate alternative as well as cost for installation.
  • Have a contract spelling out what they will and will not do, with as much detail as possible
  • Ask for the payment schedule (usually 1/2 down + materials)

Tips for working with contractors:

Here are a list of questions to discuss with your contractor so that you are both on the same page about how they operate.

– Ask “ARE YOU LICENSED, BONDED AND INSURED UP TO 1 MILLION? DO YOU HAVE A STAFF OF CONTRACTORS AND/OR SUBS READY TO WORK?”

1- SCOPE vs. COST estimate

  • Who is buying materials? (contractor or customer)
  • Is it a Time-&-materials estimate, or a scope-only estimate?
  • Designer/Customer are picking the color palette & finishes; or is the contractor?
  • When will they need specifics by? (exact products/finishes)

2. TIMELINE

  • What Day are you starting?
  • What’s the length of the entire project?
  • What are work hours per day?
  • Estimated completion date?
  • (Expect additional time, delays happen so mentally prepare yourself)
  • (Also, trust the professionals to handle scheduling and expect things to get moved around- subs will come a day early or late. This is normal- we have to be flexible as emergencies and schedule changes come up.)

3. QUALITY

  • What’re your expectations/budget constraints? (Having the items chosen before hand help communicate to the contractor what you are expecting it to look like from a design perspective)
  • Portfolio? Progress photos?
  • Website/Yelp/Google reviews?
  • Can you give me Referrals/ References that I can call or see the quality of work?

4. WARRANTEE/ GUARANTEE

  • What do you guarantee? How long?
  • If you do need to fix something, are you covering all costs?
  • Quality:
    • What should I expect for:
      • Prep
      • Clean up (daily & after the project)
      • Communication expectations: will it be daily, weekly, about progress/expectations; preferred method (call, text) and contact person
      • Final walkthrough/punch list
      • Imperfection threshold: How picky are they about subs work and how picky are you (do these line up)
Working with a Contractor
Working with a Contractor