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Mar 9

Questions to Ask Prospective Remodeling Contractors

March 9, 2014 by admin



Questions to Ask Prospective Remodeling Contractors

Here is a list of questions you might want to consider asking a prospective remodeling contractor. Ask them all or select the ones you feel are most important to you.

Services
  1. Do they provide design/build services or just construction?
  2. Do they provide full turnkey services? If so, what does that include?
  3. How do they help you with product, color, materials, and other selections? Or do they help at all?
  4. Does the contractor do the kind of work you are looking to have done?
  5. Will they use subcontractors? If so, how long have they used these specific subcontractors? Are they fully licensed and insured?
  6. What percentage of their work is subcontracted out?
  7. What percentage of the project manager’s time will be devoted to your project?
  8. Do they handle all zoning variance issues, permits, inspections and licenses?
  9. Does the contractor build to meet code or do they build to exceed code? If so, in what ways

Pricing
  1. Does the contractor guarantee price and schedule?
  2. How do they assure that what they design can be built within your budget?
  3. How do they figure and use ‘allowances?’
  4. How do they estimate their ‘allowances’ for things like tile, lights, appliances, etc.? Do they estimate them to allow you to buy low, medium, high, premium, or super-premium quality products and materials?

Licenses and Insurance
  1. Is the contractor properly and fully licensed to do what you want?
  2. What type of general liability insurance do they carry? How does their insurance protect you, the homeowner?
  3. Will they provide you with documentation of the licenses and insurance coverage?
  4. Do they carry workers compensation? Do their subcontractors?
  5. Do some of their subcontractors call themselves “independent contractors” when they really aren’t, to avoid workers compensation insurance?

Qualifications
  1. How long has the contractor been in business?
  2. How long has the owner been in the industry and in what capacities?
  3. How many projects like yours have they done?
  4. Can they clearly describe the process they use for a smooth, successful project?
  5. Can you see photos of their work?
  6. Do they have recent references?
  7. Do they have references from homeowners for whom they worked 5-10 years ago?
  8. What is the experience and training of their staff?
  9. What are the qualifications of the architects and designers they use?
  10. How will communications be handled at each stage of the project?
  11. In what specific ways do they stand behind their work? Do they offer a warranty?
  12. Are their people trained and experienced in working in occupied homes and know what to do to protect your home?
  13. Does the contractor belong to credible industry or business organizations such as Remodeler’s Advantage Roundtables and GuildQuality, or local industry organizations such as the Home Builder’s Association of Metropolitan Denver, Building Performance Institute, Boulder Green Building Guild, Center for Resource Conservation, Better Business Bureau, and the Boulder Chamber of Commerce?
  14. Have they earned special industry certifications such as BPI Certified Building Analyst Professional given by the Building Performance Institute?

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