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Top Contractor Questions Before a Home Remodel

Pro Referral > Home Guides > General Contracting > Top Contractor Questions Before a Home Remodel
Top Contractor Questions Before a Home Remodel

Hiring a contractor is similar to being a boss and retaining a couple of employees. After all, you’re going to be overseeing not only the top person, but all of the people he or she has working for them. People like the job foreman, the folks doing the nailing and sawing, an electrician, maybe even a plumber.

The contractor pulls all of the various workers together, with you at the top of the equation.

  1. 1.For Your Protection

    You don’t want your short project to become a long-term problem. Get a timeline, in writing. What are the workdays like? Find out the days and hours you can expect from the crew.

    In some areas of the country, it’s not required that the contractor have insurance. Picking a company that has comprehensive liability, even though it’s not the law, should be a top consideration. Not settling there, ask if the owner has Workers Comp for their employees.


    This is for your protection. Some contractors sub-contract. That keeps the top man from having to cover that which flows downstream. Considering that’s the case in this example, you want to see all insurance papers from every sub-contractor the contractor will use. Why? A worker who hammers their ear to the ceiling, uncovered by workers comp, could legally make you pay for a whole new ear.

  2. 2.The Quote

    When you’re getting a quote, request one that’s itemized. The Bottom Line has the potential to grow new lines. Ensure that you have a clear vision of what is being charged every step-of-the-way. The contractor already has to do a line-by-line analysis. If you get a hard time on this, a red flag should pop-up.

  3. 3.Schedules

    You don’t want your short project to become a long-term problem. Get a timeline, in writing. What are the workdays like? Find out the days and hours you can expect from the crew. Ask when you’ll be paying a portion of the whole assignment, which are called milestones. How long is this going to take from spec to finished project?

  4. 4.The Foreman

    You want to meet the foreman for your job. Usually, they are working on another jobsite. Call first and plan a visit. Introduce yourself. The job foreman is your link to the people who, occasionally, nail an ear to the ceiling.

  5. 5.Unexpected Issues

    Nothing is perfect. Unfortunately, when doing a remodeling gig, strange things reveal themselves. The wall that needs to be demolished turns out to have a hive of bees and a honey processing plant between the drywall and the studs.


    How will the contractor handle surprises? Work out the process for modifications before you sign the contract. And on the change order, same as the itemized estimate, get a break-down of what it will take, how long it will take and what effect will it have on the timetable.

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