The most common questions that remodeling contractors seem to be asked first are: When can you start? When will you finish? What times will your workday start and end? Will you work every day? Can you finish before—insert any major holiday or significant family event? How much will my remodel cost per square foot?
Unfortunately, these are not the type of questions that are going to tell you much about a particular contractor. Here are the questions that you should ask a prospective remodeling contractor:
- How long have you been in business?
- Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
- Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
- Does your company carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance? (Always request a current certificate of insurance for both liability and workers’ comp).
- Does your company have any unresolved complaints from past customers? (Check with the State of Oregon Construction Contractors Board at 503-378-4621 or www.ccb.state.or.us to verify this information).
- What is your approach to a project such as this?
- How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year?
- May I have a list of references from those projects?
- May I have a list of business referrals or suppliers?
- What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
- Are you a member of the Oregon Remodelers Association[LINK IS BROKEN]?
- Are you a member of the Central Oregon Builders Association?
- Have you or your employees been certified in remodeling or had any special training or education? Examples include Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS), Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC), Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler (CKBR), Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS), and Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR).
Sometimes it’s not the answers you get that are significant, but the answers you don’t get. Pay attention to your instincts and to what information is missing.