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Choosing The Right Remodeling Contractor

Finding the right contractor takes time, but if you want the job done right, you have to do the legwork to make sure you don’t get scammed. 

When you’re on the hunt for a contractor that is honest and good at their job, you need to follow these steps. It could be the difference between staying up at night worrying or getting the job done to perfection. 


Don’t ever be shy when dealing with a contractor. You’re letting a stranger into your home, so ask for referrals. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a qualified professional to get the job done right. Ask around and see who around you have had good experiences. You can also learn from their bad experiences. Ask your friends for the details. How did the contractor solve problems? Were they open and understanding? Did they listen? What would your friends avoid in the future?


Don’t just take recommendations, do your own research. Call the contractor, have a conversation, then have a look at their website or Facebook page. Check out their reviews. See if the contractor has all the needed licenses from your state and local municipalities. You need to look for someone who didn’t just get their license but continued to work on themselves and keep up with what’s new. Ask to see their credentials. If they aren’t willing to disclose that information, then it's time to look for someone else.


This is a job after all, so interview the people who are ready to come into your home and carry out your remodeling. Take notes on how your questions are being answered. Remember that an interview is a two-way street, so expect them to ask you questions as well. If they don’t, then you may want to find someone who wants to understand what you are looking for.


Ask the contractor to show you their portfolio. If you’re impressed, ask for their references. Call their old clients to see if they were impressed with the service they got. Ask about how the contractor executed the project. Did they do it on budget and on time? Were they pleased with the end result? Could anything have been done differently? 

Keep in mind that you are paying this person for their services. The quality of their service will decide the quality of the final product. You’ll want to ask these questions when you’re interviewing your possible contractor: 

  1. Does the remodeler/contractor keep a permanent e-mail address, phone number, cell phone number and fax number? 
  2. Do they carry insurance that prevents you from taking liability in case of an accident? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates to make sure. 
  3. Do they have an established presence within the community? How long have they been in business under the name of their trade license? 
  4. Do they have good relationships with other contractors, plumbers, and electricians to form a team if necessary? 
  5. Do they have a good reputation with their clients and competitors? Is there proof of this? 
  6. Are there any professional certifications? How long have they been remodeling for and are they apart of any organizations? 

Ask For It In Writing

After going through this thorough process, look at the contractor’s documents. Do you feel they are professional? Study the contract, question it, and does it seem fair to both parties? Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your legal agreement includes: 

  1. Bid price
  2. Payment schedule
  3. Scope of work
  4. Timeline of the tasks that need to be done
  5. Change-order clause
  6. Warranty
  7. Dispute resolution clause
  8. Waiver of lien (this prevents the subcontractors and suppliers from putting a lien on your home if their invoices aren’t paid by the contractor on time.)

You can now rest assured you’ll have the job done to perfection without the headache of dealing with a dodgy contractor.