Remodeling a house or rooms in your home can be a nerve-wracking experience and rather costly. Especially alterations to the bathroom and kitchen are expensive with all the accessories and additional requirements in these two rooms.
Therefore you must be sure of your contractor before starting and signing a contract with any contractor. Here are some essential questions to ask a remodeling contractor.
Are you licensed?
This is one of the first things to ask a contractor – if they are licensed and have passed all the industry standard tests. The license number can be checked through your Department of Commerce to see if he is in good standing and up to date.
Are you insured and bonded?
A professional contractor will carry several insurance policies to cover their work, employees, and the job site. First, ensure your contractor is bonded with workers’ compensation insurance, general liability, and automobile insurance. These basic insurance is required and will cover you and the contractor if an accident occurs, public or private property is damaged, or workers are injured. You could be held responsible for any damage or injuries if the contractor does not have these insurances.
Do you have a Better Business Bureau profile, and what is your score?
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization to help the consumer. They rate businesses on reliability and performance. Most professional contractors have a BBB profile and like sharing reviews with potential customers. Their ratings, reviews, complaints, fines, or other issues are on their BBB page.
What experience do you have with remodeling?
The contractor you hire must have experience in remodeling. Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens require special skills and requirements. For example, licensing regarding the electrical and gas equipment replacement could be needed from the state, and the contractor should have knowledge about this, re-coating of countertops, and whatever else needs to be done. The longer a remodeling contractor has been in business, the more likely they will know what they are doing. They will have expert staff, established, efficient procedures and an online presence. You can quickly do research and get plenty of history about the company, including reviews and job updates.
Do you have a showroom, or where can I view examples?
It is essential to look at a contractor’s completed work. It gives you a firsthand example of the detail and attention paid to their work. A reputable company that takes pride in its work will have pictures available or sites on social media that they will gladly share. Even though not all companies have a physical showroom, online images can still give you a good idea of the company’s work.
How long will this take?
Using a company that is popular or has many other jobs will indicate the start time, and then you have to include the time it will take to complete the remodeling. A good contractor can give you a detailed breakdown of the project. A contractor worth his salt will be able to provide you with a detailed project breakdown. Then you can plan how long your kitchen or bathroom will be unavailable.
Do you use subcontractors?
Many contractors don’t solely rely on in-house staff to get the job done. Instead, they will get a subcontractor for specialist work, like an electrician or floor specialist. This is a common practice, and you should ask if the subcontractor is known or vetted by anyone, with a background check and also covered by the insurance policy.
How much will it cost, and what are your payment schedule options?
The big question is the cost, and a reputable contractor should be able to give you an estimate detailing the remodeling costs. However, the company, having been in the business of remodeling for quite some time, will be able to provide you with an exact quote. Yet, it is always good to research averages in your area to ensure the quote is accurate.
Some companies also have a payment schedule available or can help get the financing needed. However, no reputable company will ask you to pay upfront for the entire project. Discuss the preferred payment schedule with the contractor and possible financing options beforehand.
In the construction industry, down payments and deposits are expected. You can expect to pay between 5% to 25% of the estimated total for a deposit. Ask about deposit rates before signing a contract.
Putting as much thought into remodeling a kitchen and bathroom before you start is paramount. Consider your family’s habits, storage needs, and preferences to be clear and what to get and not to overspend on things you will not benefit from.
What warranties are given?
It is always a good idea to ask what warranties are supplied. They may offer additional guarantees for labor, products, materials, and other remodeling elements.
What possible challenges or problems might occur?
Every job is different and may present unique challenges. However, a reputable contractor who has remodeled for some time may anticipate what could happen. Asking these questions in advance may help to limit problems and prepare suitably for other challenges. This could reduce additional costs and risk and ensure the job is completed within the time frame set.
Bathroom remodeling questions
Additional questions regarding bathroom remodeling could include the following:
- What is the best flooring for my bathroom?
- How can I create more storage space?
- What will the difference be in cost when building a shower vs a bathtub?
- How important is ventilation?
- What fixtures will be the best?
- Do I need to upgrade the electrical or plumbing system throughout the house?
Kitchen remodeling questions
Specific questions related to remodeling the kitchen include the following:
- How to create a place for the family to meet in the space available?
- Where can a working space/ island be created to be the dining space?
- Can I have more room for appliances?
- Is the electrical system sufficient, or must it be upgraded?
- How to create more storage space?
- What types of materials are used for countertops, cabinets and flooring?
- What kind of lighting will be installed?
When deciding to remodel your bathroom or kitchen, getting the right contractor to work with is essential. Asking as many detailed questions as possible and doing your research beforehand will put you at ease, and you will trust the contractor to be open and honest from the start. Get the right contractor with the experience to ensure a smooth project and a beautiful, remodeled kitchen and bathroom.