Choosing to remodel your home is a big decision, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is a lot involved – a lot of time, a lot of decisions, and of course, a lot of money! It’s critical that you hire the right remodeler to meet your needs and get the job done correctly. If you take this step for granted and hire the first contractor you meet (or the one the offers you the lowest price), you might be regretting it later on and have to live with the results for years to come. Before you commit completely, you should ask each contractor these important questions:
1. What is your remodeling process?
Different companies have different processes. Whether you are working with a remodeling company or a general contractor, it’s important to fully understand the process in which your project will be completed before agreeing to work with them.
At Medford Remodeling, our process begins with a consultation with our owner or one of our estimators to discuss what you have in mind for your project. During your consultation, we can answer your questions, discuss estimated costs and timelines, and address the steps in which design and construction is completed. Over the following two weeks, we will complete your design package and begin the process of obtaining any necessary permits from the city. Once designs are finalized and approved by you, we’ll layout the schedule for construction and proceed to order the products and materials for your project. Our professional craftsmen complete the job based on the schedule – from demo to installation to final inspections. Our team will keep you involved and up-to-date throughout the entirety of the project and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
2. How is your company structured?
It’s a good idea to do your research on a company’s background and structure before hiring them. Familiarize yourself with the owner and the team that will be managing your transactions. For example, it might be appealing to work with a big company that has a large team and hundreds of reviews, or perhaps you’d be more comfortable working with a smaller, family-owned company that will be more personable. Understanding the structure of the company you hire can provide you with realistic expectations for the type of service you will receive.
3. Can you provide references?
A reputable remodeling contractor should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied customers and should also have good reviews posted publicly. It should definitely be a red flag if they do not offer you a list of references or hesitate when you ask if they have online reviews. Even if they only provide you a list of their ‘good’ clients, those clients will more than likely give you an honest review and discuss any issues that arose during their project.
4. How many similar projects have you completed?
You wouldn’t go to a pool specialist and ask him to landscape your whole yard. Likewise, you wouldn’t want someone that primarily does bathroom remodels to start hammering away at your kitchen cabinets or knocking down walls in your living room. Even if you think all home remodeling projects are the same, it’s always a good idea to ask a contractor what similar projects they have completed recently before offering them the job.
5. How long has your company been in business?
It pays to work with a company that has several years of experience. This usually proves that it’s a reliable company with a team of employees that have been there for years. If an unexpected issue occurs, the staff can offer suggestions and solutions gathered from previous experiences. A company with a good history and a long track record is also less likely to close suddenly, leaving you with a half-completed project (you wouldn’t believe the stories we’ve heard about this!)
6. Will you provide a written scope of work for my project?
Because there is so much involved when remodeling your home, it’s essential that you have all of the details presented in a legal contract. That way, if anything should go wrong or take an unexpected turn, you can revert back to the original terms of your agreement.
At Medford Remodeling, your custom design package includes a detailed Scope of Work document specifying exactly what is included in your project and what is not. The document also addresses a construction timeline, a payment schedule, a warranty guarantee, and a budget items worksheet.
It’s also important that your contractor writes up a change order document should any part of your project be modified while the work is being done. Having both parties sign the agreement protects both sides in the end.
7. Who will be the point of contact when the project begins & who will be at my house each day?
As the homeowner, you should be given a point of contact regarding the progress of your remodel, and you should also be aware of who will be working on your project each day. Having this information will provide peace of mind throughout the renovation.
At Medford Remodeling, we assign a project manager to your jobsite at the beginning of construction. He will follow-up with you at the end of each work day and let you know how the day went, if there were any hiccups, and where the project is on the projected timeline.
8. Do you provide a warranty for the work being completed?
When you have contract work or renovations done on your home, you always want to make sure there is some kind of warranty provided by the contractor. Unfortunately, things can go wrong; materials break, and sometimes products or fixtures installed may be defective. Ask for a written warranty agreement that guarantees the work for a specified period of time and provides for necessary repairs – you’ll be glad you did!
9. Do you anticipate any problems with this project?
If you’re working with an experienced home remodeler, they should be able to tell you ahead of time if there are any red flags or anticipated issues with your project. For example, if you are having a wall removed, your contractor should inform you that it’s likely there are plumbing or electrical lines in that wall that will need to be moved, which could add to your costs and construction time. In some instances, there may be hazardous substances such as mold or mildew growing inside walls or under cabinetry – often the case if the work is being done to repair water damage. This could also cause delays and incur additional costs. It’s definitely a good idea to discuss these possibilities with a contractor before offering them the job; knowing they are aware and experienced with these types of unexpected issues can provide you with reassurance that your home is in good hands.
10. What preparations will I need to make before the project starts?
Preparing for your home remodeling project usually involves cleaning out the space, putting some items in storage, coordinating your work schedule and even making arrangements to stay somewhere else if your remodel is extensive. Before work begins, ask your contractor what inconveniences may occur while the project is underway so you can plan for them accordingly. Many times, an experienced contractor will be able to give you recommendations based on experiences he’s had with past clients that completed a project similar to yours.
Because remodeling your home is such a big investment, the time you take to hire the right contractor will pay for itself in the quality of work, the ease of the process, and the overall experience throughout the project. It’s important to interview several contractors and get the answers to these and other questions before jumping in!
If you have questions about the remodeling process or would like to know more about our experience and expertise, we’d be glad to talk with you! Contact us today for more information!
The Medford Remodeling Team