Home remodeling contractors: Asking the right questions

Home remodeling contractors: Asking the right questions

You have decided to undertake a major home remodeling project and are not sure whom you should hire. Some home remodeling contractors specialize in working on particular projects or may limit their work to doing renovations for a particular area of your home.

If you have friends or neighbors who have had their homes remodeled, ask about their experiences and what they wish they'd done differently.  Would they recommend their remodeler to you?  To cast a wider net, try searching Angie's List for your city and read the reviews and recommendations of other Angie's List members who have hired remodelers that serve your area.   Pick at least three to contact for estimates.

Read the fine print

When you hire a home remodeling service contractor, carefully go over the estimates within the contract to make sure that everything is included. Items that should be listed within the contract include an outline of the building project highlighting specific renovations and building materials that will be used. Estimated costs should include all work, labor, materials, clean-up as well as a warranty for both the materials and the workmanship.

Double check the contract for any fine print for disclosures about insurance liability as well as a guarantee, and never sign a contract without reading it.

Questions you should ask

It is important to check out the background of home remodeling service contractors before you spend a lot of money on work that you may not be happy with. Check references and get referrals from your neighbors and friends to learn more.

When getting referrals, look for answers to the following questions. Have past customers been satisfied with every aspect of the completed work? Did the contractor use the agreed upon materials during remodeling or did he substitute less expensive materials without the client's knowledge and consent?

Did the home remodeling services contractor and his workers arrive promptly during the agreed upon dates and times? Did the crew leave a mess behind at the end of the work day for the homeowner to clean up? Was the contractor courteous and professional throughout the job?

Is the contractor listed with the Better Business Bureau? Have there been complaints filed against his business that may be filed with consumer protection agencies? Are the contractors properly licensed and do they have necessary permits or bonds as required by law?

After you have spoken with friends and gotten referrals for several good contractors, the next step is contacting them. Make arrangements to have a few selected home remodeling service contractors come out to your home to give you a written estimate.

Many people like to read online reviews from other customers that may live in their area. This is a good way to learn firsthand about happy, satisfied consumers that would gladly recommend a particular home remodeling service contractor within your area.

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