Interview Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask Their Remodeling Company

By: admin, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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Do you find the process of interviewing remodeling companies intimidating?  Who wants to ask penetrating or distrustful-sounding questions? It’s your home and your money, so don’t act timid. A thorough and deliberate hiring process usually leads to a better outcome. Every day homeowners lose thousands of dollars to shifty contractors who disappear or go out of business before completing their work. Here are some key interview questions to ask your remodeling company before you sign on the dotted line.

How long has your remodeling company been in business?

Longevity is a good quality. It is preferable to hire someone who has been in business at least five years or more. Look to the Better Business Bureau and state licensing bureau to see if they have been sued or had multiple complaints filed against them. When researching a company, unresolved complaints are a red flag. In addition, learn what bank they use; you want to hire a company that’s financially stable. Are they listed on Craig’s List? This is another resource to read reviews about past work.

How many employees do you have?

Get a sense for the size of the remodeling company, employee longevity, and what kind of work they will do (as opposed to subcontractors). Find out who the subcontractors are and how frequently the contractor works with them.

How much experience do you have with this type of project?

You want a contractor who is familiar with the ins and outs of your specific kind of remodeling project. Ask to see photos. If they have a website, check it out.

What is the schedule?

A schedule isn’t just a start and completion date. You need to know what hours they will work and if they will work every day. Are you required to stay home while they work? Also ask about their plan for supply and weather delays.

Can I get references?

Get at least three references from previous clients. Make sure you call those references and ask specific questions about the completed project, working relationship with the contractor, and work habits.

What kind of permit do I need?

Most reputable remodeling contractors are knowledgeable about what permits are required and how to obtain them. Often a contractor will get the needed permits for you. If the contractor tells you that you don’t need a permit, double check with your local government office. Most major work requires a permit.

Can you provide official documentation?

Get copies of documents with the contractor’s license and registration number, proof of liability insurance, and proof of bond coverage. All reputable remodelers have official documents.

Can I see a standard contract?

Look for information about change order procedures, which documents and designs will be used, who is responsible for permits and inspections, start and end dates, and conflict resolution procedures. A detailed contract leaves little opportunity for wiggle room.

Do you guarantee your work?

All remodeling contractors should provide some guarantee of their work. Find out what they will do if an appliance dies, flooring buckles, or a wall cracks. The best companies off multi-year guarantees.

What important questions do you always ask when hiring a remodeling company?

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Photo courtesy of Case Handyman & Remodeling.

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Joaquin Erazo, Jr. is the senior vice president of marketing and public relations at Case, the country’s largest home remodeling company.

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  1. 5 Responses to “Interview Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask Their Remodeling Company”

  2. woody
    Oct 18, 2010

    I always ask the local lumber yard what they think of a potential contractor hire. If they owe the lumber yard money, then they are probably doing the old “rob peter, to pay paul” trick…and if you dig deeper, usually these contractors have money problems. I also ask the contractors employees “are you getting paid on time?”

  3. jamie
    Oct 19, 2010

    If you want to know how a contractor will treat you, look at how he treats his workers. If he doesn’t pay them on time, chances are he is headed for financial disaster and you shouldn’t hire him.

  4. Allison Millar
    Oct 19, 2010

    Great tip!

  5. Allison Millar
    Oct 19, 2010

    You can also ask the contractor those questions and then watch his face for the reaction. If he is having money issues, you’ll know it by his defensiveness. Otherwise, he should be fine with discussing it.

  6. Nov 11, 2010

    As a Realtor I believe questions like these are a must. If the person is confident and secure in their job, they will have no problems being able to answer any question someone throws at them.
    Remember too that most times you get what you pay for!

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