You've already decided you want to re-invent your home. Whether it's installing a new basement bathroom, remodeling the kitchen, adding a new bedroom, or all of the above (and then some), you need to find the right contractor. And, as is the case with just about everything, the best way to find them is to ask the right questions. You already know to check if they are licensed and insured. Anyone that's advertising or has a storefront will check off all those boxes (unless you know a guy who knows a guy who can get you a great deal on a new kitchen, your contractor will be licensed and insured. Plus it will say it right there on their website).
Instead, you need to know how to interact with the contract, and what kind of questions to ask your builder. These home improvement questions will help you not only find the right contractor, but it will help make sure you feel comfortable with them as well. So, when looking around, here are questions to ask and observations to make.
It's hard to ask a contractor questions if they aren't responding to you. Before hiring a remodeling contractor you need to go over your plans, discuss budgets, talk about timelines, and have every single one of your questions answered. And yet, when you contact them, do you find it takes them forever to get back to you (if they get back to you at all)? If you've tried calling or emailing, and they are not touching base there's an issue here. It shows they are not treating you with the kind of high priority you deserve to be. So, if you can't ask home improvement questions to your contractor because they are unavailable, look for someone else.
When you interact with them are they nice, or does it come across like you're wasting their time? Are they curious and understanding? They've probably heard your questions many times in the past, but you've never asked them, so they shouldn't look perturbed or annoyed. And, when upholding meetings, are they clean? Or do they walk in covered in dust and gunk from the job site? If they can't clean themselves off during a meeting they're not going to be cleaning themselves off while walking through your house during a remodel. You're paying for the renovations. You shouldn't be forced to pay for carpeting cleaning as well.
You have a budget in mind. When going over plans and trying to decide on choosing the right contractor they might tell you what you're looking for exceeds your budget. In that case, ask them what they would do instead. This puts them on their toes. You can find out if they're able to problem-solve and make adjustments without drastically impacting your vision or plans. A good contractor will be able to find different kinds of building materials or tweak designs slightly to help save money and still help you achieve your remodeling dreams. This will go a long way in hiring a remodeling contractor or interior remodeling contractor.
Sometimes the best way to find out if the contractor is right for you is to take a step back and just consider everything going on. You have laid out what you want from the remodel. You know you want certain elements. While you might be able to work with a few design changes, there are also likely some elements you don't want changed at all. You've told the contractor this, but they keep on designing plans that take out your "must have" features. If this is the case it's showing they are not listening to you. That's a problem, because if they're not listening to you now, what happens when there's an issue in the middle of the job? They might use a color you hate or install a feature you said you didn't want. They need to listen to you. Anything less is a sign you need to reach out to another contractor.
When you have found someone you like and has checked off all the other boxes you will want to ask for references. You will also want to know what questions to ask contractor references as well. One of the most important questions you'll want to ask is about the price. Was the price they were quoted the price they paid, or did it constantly go up? The quoted price shouldn't be drastically different from the final cost. If you find out the price keeps changing, it will make it difficult for you to know what your project will end up costing you. And the last thing you want to happen is to be in the middle of a renovation project, our budget spent. If you find this to be a recurring issue with the references, you should probably start looking elsewhere for other options and contractors that hold to their budgets.
By following these questions, tips, and suggestions, you will avoid the less professional contractors out there and end up with someone that will value your time, our home, and the money you're investing into it. There will always be additional questions to ask, and don't be afraid to ask them. A great contractor will take the time to address every question you have to ask both prior and during any job. That's exactly what we do here, and we look forward to providing you with insights and answers for all questions you have regarding your project.