What to look for in a remodeling contractor

By on May 12, 2011 — Leave a comment

Questions to ask the remodeler:

1. Are you FULLY insured?

This is perhaps the most important question you can ask a potential remodeling contractor. You must be aware that liability insurance only covers your property if there is damage of some kind on the job site. Be sure that your contractor carries Workman’s Compensation Insurance for anyone he is sending to your home to work. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye and afterwards is not the time to find out that your contractor was not properly insured. If he has neglected to carry Workman’s Compensation, you will have a hurt person, on your property, with no insurance coverage. Not a good place to be! Ask to talk to his insurance agent directly and get a certificate of insurance so you will be sure that all the proper insurance is in place.

2. Do you have staffed office hours?

A cell phone can be turned off. An answering machine can go unnoticed. When you want to contact your remodeler, will you be able to? A staffed office with posted office hours shows the remodelers commitment to customer satisfaction.

3. Are you properly licensed for this job?

Even smaller projects can grow to a point where permits are required. The contractor needs to be properly licensed to ensure proper completion of the project. A project that requires a permit and did not have one issued can leave the homeowner with a large liability with the city or the financing company. If in doubt, call your local building department to check the status of your contractor’s licensing.

4. Are you financially able to get through a project of this size?

This question often goes unasked but is important none the less. The remodeler should have the financial where-with-all to get through any problems that may arise over the course of the project. Many projects are vacated because the contractor did not have the financial means to cover un-planned events that arose before the completion of the project. Be sure your contractor has the ability to overcome any obstacle along the way.

5. Will you be sub-contracting the project or handling it in-house?

Certain portions of the project will need to be subcontracted such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC to certain specialty license holders. However, it is important to note what makes an employee – If the company provides a schedule of work times, or tools, or by the nature of its business is the only “customer” of the sub-contractor, that sub-contractor is in fact an employee. Some companies try to get around Workman’s Compensation and tax laws by labeling their employees as sub-contractors. This is illegal and leaves the homeowner with unnecessary liability exposure. Insist on a list of sub-contractors that will be used on the project and ensure that all of the sub-contractors are properly insured with Workman’s Compensation Insurance.

6. Will you supply lien releases for all sub-contractors and material suppliers?

Ensure that all bills to sub contractors and vendors have been paid when issuing the final payment for the project. Require a lien release for all subs and material suppliers when making your final payment.

7. Do you have any current references from customers with similar projects?

See if you can visit a work site that is in progress to see what type of care will be taken with your property.

8. Do you belong to any associations such as the Quad City Home Builders Association and the Remodelers Council or the BBB?

Active participation shows the contractors commitment to their clients and the remodeling industry.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A complete remodel that is bidding out at $30,000 will likely not be completed for $10,000. Just because it is the lowest bid, does not mean it is the best bid.

Bettendorf Home Repair and Remodeling proudly serves over 700 clients every year with a wide array of home repair and remodeling projects just like yours! We would be honored to give you a free estimate for your remodeling project. Call 563-355-8449 today!!


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