Ready to remodel? Here’s how to know who you’re hiring.
It’s the contractor you pick that makes — or breaks — your remodeling project. Finding the right contractor for your job will determine the quality and timeliness of the work, and the amount of emotional and financial stress you’ll have to deal with. To make sure you’re getting the best work from a contractor, here are five questions to ask the candidates.
- Listen for how the contractors answer your questions.
- Difficulty communicating means difficulty communicating on the job later.
five questions to ask:
- Would You Please Itemize Your Bid?
- Is Your Bid an Estimate or a Fixed Price?
- How Long Have You Been Doing Business?
- Who Are Your Main Suppliers?
- I’d Like to Meet the Job Foreman — Can You Take Me to a Project He’s Running
Why Did I Need To Ask These Questions?
Many contractors prefer to give you a single, bottom-line price for your project, but this puts you in the dark about what they’re charging for each aspect of the job.
If the original plans calls for two coats of paint in your bathroom. And you decide not to paint two coats.
how much should you be credited eliminating that work? With a single bottom-line price, you have no way to know.
an itemized bid it will have the costs for the jobs including:
Demolition and hauling trash framing and finish carpentry plumbing electrical work HVAC tiling or other floor covering installations lighting fixtures drywall and painting
That makes it easier to compare different contractor’s prices. If you need to cut the project costs, you can easily figure your options. Plus, an itemized bid becomes valuable documentation about the scope of your project, which may eliminate disputes later.
Contractors shouldn’t give you a hard time about itemizing a bid if you don’t get one.
- Red flag:
If a contractor says he can’t offer a fixed price because there are too many unknowns about the job.
then try to eliminate the unknowns. For example, have him open up a wall or examine a crawl space.
If your contractor says he’ll be running the job himself, ask whether he’ll be there every day. He’ll want to give you a positive response — something you can hold him to later.