Hiring the right one requires a bit of effort and diligence on your part to get the project completed on time and within budget.
So before you make a deal, follow these 5 steps to evaluate your home remodeling contractor:
- Check the contractor’s license.
Most states require that major remodeling work be done by a licensed contractor. But this doesn’t necessarily discourage unlicensed contractors from doing business, but working with one of them will make you liable for faulty work and any injuries they may cause to your home. Before signing a deal with a contractor, ask if they are licensed to practice in your state.
After you get your license plate number, you can verify it at an online site provided by your state. A valid license means that the contractor is more trustworthy and has the level of expertise necessary to perform in his profession.
- Ask for proof of insurance.
Home renovations involve climbing, heavy lifting, and digging, which pose a risk of injury to workers. For this reason, make sure the home remodeling contractor you choose is insured to protect you and the contractor in the event of an accident.
Home renovation contractors should carry 2 types of insurance: workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance protects you from medical expenses if the contractor is injured on the job. General liability insurance protects you if your property is damaged during the renovation. Both can give you security and peace of mind throughout the project.
- Contact contractor references.
One of the best ways to judge the ability of the home remodeling contractor is to evaluate his past work. Ask potential contractors for the names of clients whose home renovation projects were similar to yours. You can then contact these clients.
Ask these previous clients about their experience, if there were any mistakes, and if they are generally satisfied with the contractor’s work. From here, you can narrow down your list of potential contractors based on feedback.
- Ask if they use subcontractors.
Your chosen home remodeling contractor might hire a subcontractor to do some of the work. Asking about this possibility is critical as you could end up liable if a payment issue arises between the contractor and subcontractor. Early in the project, they should serve a preliminary notice to notify you of your lien rights. Don’t be alarmed when this happens. As long as the terms are clear and payment is sent on time, you’ll be fine.
- Ask for a detailed quote.
Before hiring a contractor, ask for a quote detailing material and labor costs. A good home remodeling contractor should be able to provide an estimate that approximates their current prices so that you can prepare your budget. This also protects you from hidden fees and additional expenses.