8 Mandatory Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

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It's exciting when you're ready to undertake a remodeling project in your bath or kitchen. A fresh update for your home is inspiring and renewing. But don't just hire the first contractor you find in a listing. Be picky, because your chances at having a successful remodel depend on the contractor, as well as how well the two of you communicate.

These 8 questions will be a helpful guide in determining if the contractor is a right fit.

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

A contractor who has had an established business in your area for some time will have a reputation, other projects you can view, and reviews that can be helpful in making your decision. This isn't the most critical question, as some new contractors are more than qualified, and some long-term contractors don't do a good job. But it does give you a good idea of what to expect.

2. Do You Have Insurance?

This question is crucial. And it's not enough to receive a simple yes answer, and move on. You need to be thorough in this question. Your contractor should have both comprehensive business liability insurance and workmen's compensation. The first protects your property if it is damaged, and your contractor should carry a minimum of a million dollar limit. Workmen's compensation protects the workers and you while they are on your property.

Know that you can call the insurance carrier to confirm the contractor's information is accurate.

3. What Is the Time Frame for My Project?

There's no way to guarantee a remodeling project will end on time, but before you choose a contractor, make sure they can start when you need and can plan a reasonable amount of time for your project.

4. Do You Use Subcontractors?

Subcontractors are not always a bad addition, but keep in mind that a contractor who uses subcontractors can't guarantee the quality of the work. The contractor also likely can't vouch for the safety of the crew members, or if they have had background checks performed. It's almost always better if a contractor uses their own employees.

5. How Many Similar Projects Have You Completed in the Last Year?

Make sure your contractor knows what they're doing on your specific project. If they have worked on several similar projects, you can feel pretty confident they know the best techniques and methods for getting the job done right.

6. What Percentage of Your Business Comes from Referrals?

This is a great question because it can give you an idea of how happy the contractor's customers typically feel. If they also have several repeat customers, you can feel confident they do a good job at customer satisfaction.

7. What Kind of Materials Do You Use?

When you're having work done on your home, you want the best quality of materials going into it. Be aware of contractors who don't specify the materials they intend to use. Only use a contractor who uses high quality materials -- and get those materials in writing before the project begins.

8. Can I Have References?

Ask for a list of references so you can follow up yourself and find out how well the contractor worked with people like you. You may even ask to visit completed sites that are similar to the project you want to do.

At New Life Bath and Kitchen, we want you to be thrilled with your remodeling project. Give us a call at (805 639-5433 to see if we're a good fit for each other. Or request a free consultation online.