April 21, 2016

Remodeling is a significant investment, and there’s certainly no shortage of contractors who claim they can get your job done without a glitch. With more than 35 years in the design and remodeling industry, though, Schloegel Design Remodel knows all too well what can happen when contractors are not properly vetted. Below find eight questions people need to ask, but often don’t, when deciding whom to hire for a remodeling project.

1) Have you done a project with a similar scope? If so, what was the budget?

You need to know if your potential contractor has the ability, as well as the resources to do the job. The project will go much more smoothly when the contractor knows exactly what needs to be done, and you’ll feel more confident, as well.

2) How long have you been in business and do you offer a warranty?

Obviously, it’s important to make sure the business will be around to get the project completed. It doesn’t take long to find stories of homeowners abandoned mid-project by a contractor; there’s even a popular television series that’s currently being sued for a faulty job. 

Often when a contractor abandons a project, the homeowner has already put so much money into it that they don’t have enough in the budget to hire someone new to finish the space. You need to know that the agency or individual ensures you’ll either get what you pay for, or you’ll get your money back.

3) What is the typical percentage of change orders on your projects?

From project start to close, a contractor’s percentage of change orders will indicate how close they stay to the agreed-upon budget. Knowing how often remodelers submit change orders could clue you into whether you can trust the budget they’re giving you.

4) Are you a member of NARI? Can you offer references?

Members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) have to have been in business for a certain number of years and are held to important ethical standards. For example, members of NARI have to have all required local, state and federal licensing and registration, as well as take appropriate action on all customer complaints. If you’re hiring a member of NARI, you know you’re hiring an individual who has made a strong commitment to professionalism.

It’s also crucial to ask the business for multiple references. Those who have worked with them in the past will be a good source of information when considering hiring them.  

5) Do they have a showroom or an office?

Having a showroom can make the process easier regarding making decisions and selections, as it creates a one-stop-shop for construction and design selections. An office or showroom also indicates stability and a place where the contractor or someone with the business can be reached.

6) Do you employ your carpenters?

Some people sub out entire projects, which can be unsettling considering you’re giving people access to your home and belongings for a designated period. It’s crucial to know that the people on your property are accounted for and have a good relationship with the business you hired.

7) Are you Lead RRP Certified?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires that firms performing renovations, repairs and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes and other structures are certified by the EPA and use renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers. These required permits are for homeowner safety, and they ensure that the work at the house is up to code. If a contractor doesn’t have those permits, that raises a red flag.

8) Can you provide design services?  

Are they able to help with cabinetry and counter services, or will you need to seek those services out elsewhere? Those questions need to be asked up front before you spend your time and money customizing a structure or space.

Thinking about remodeling?

Let us answer these questions and so much more on the way to helping you create an amazing new living space for you and your family. Click here to contact Schloegel pro.