Hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor can be a daunting task, especially when you are a first-time homeowner. And the best way to make the job easier for you is to ask questions - these specific questions listed below. Customers who ask questions are contractors' favorite customers. It means they’re prepared and ready to start on the project. To help you get started, here are our ultimate questions to ask your future contractor.
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Contractors that have been in business for years have a better chance of getting hired. Most homeowners feel confident that their home is in good hands when working with a contractor that has extensive experience. Such contractors are usually privy to what’s happening in the industry, the latest trends, and new building materials. That said, if you are considering working with a contractor with little to no experience, do so first on a small project like a powder room. This will help you understand the contractor's technical skills and way of doing business. If everything goes well, then chances are the contractor will be a good partner for larger projects.
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This particular question is highly important since cities and states have different licensing requirements for contractors. As a homeowner, you have the right to ask and verify any license or certification. Most of the time, a good starting point for verifying is a state’s Attorney General's website. Make sure to also look at the certificate of insurance to give you peace of mind that they are insured. Having a valid license and insurance gives you some assurance that your contractor is capable of doing your bathroom remodeling project and won’t leave you soaking financially should things not go according to plan.
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You want to make sure the remodel is going to be completed on time and within the budget. Make sure all allowances are reasonable and have the contractor thoroughly look into your budget plans. However, as a good contractor will inform you, there will be instances where, for example, walls have to come down or tiles need to be replaced. For such unforeseen occurrences, we recommend that you allocate 10 to 15 percent more than what is proposed. This will ensure that your project will not go over your budget.
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Good communication is one of the key factors in the success of any project. Find out if your contractor prefers to be contacted via phone call, text message or email. It’s important to have a reliable point of contact. The last thing you need is a contractor that is difficult to get a hold of or that doesn’t follow up. Ask for a general time frame upfront and plan to be in contact with your contractor at certain points of the project to ensure you’re updated on the progress. One important tip when hiring a professional contractor is to get everything in writing. Utilize emails or text messages to document your conversations. In many contracts or proposals, some things may change along the way and both parties need to have everything on record.
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You want to make sure your contractor is being honest and can provide proof of work. It’s your responsibility to perform due diligence by asking questions, especially when you’re considering working with newer contractors that are just starting. Any professional contractor should confidently provide their portfolio or a list of satisfied customers. Don’t be afraid to do your research and call past customers. If you find past reviews from other homeowners that make you worry about working with a particular contractor, ask the contractor to explain. Ultimately, contractors prefer that you voice your concerns earlier in the project rather than later.