Questions To Consider When Interviewing A Contractor

Written by bprescottFebruary 1, 2012
A bathroom with vanity, sink, tub, and open window

Questions to ask when you interview a remodeler

When you interview contractors for a bathroom project, use these qualifying questions suggested by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to find out more about their business:

  • How long have you been in business? A company with an established business history in your community is a good choice.
  • How is the business organized and how does it operate? You need to know whether the company has employees who will do the work or whether the company uses subcontractors, or a combination of both. Make sure to know the name and contact information for the project manager who is responsible for the successful completion of the work.
  • What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business? This number is a good indication of customer satisfaction. According to NARI, most remodeling businesses attribute over 50 percent of their annual volume to customer referrals.
  • Does your company carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance? Ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage and call the agency to make sure the policy is current. Even if the certificate has an expiration date, you can’t tell whether either party has canceled the insurance. In addition, some states require licensing and registration. If your state has construction licensing laws, ask for the contractor's registration and license and then confirm the license number and expiration date with your local building department.
  • What is the approach to a project of this scope and what is the time frame? Answers to these questions give you an idea of how the contractor works and what to expect. Ask about work schedules, completion date, and workers’ starting and quitting times. Ask what the procedure is for schedule delays or changes and how you'll be contacted. Find out how many other jobs the contractor is working on at the same time yours will be underway so you know where yours falls in the schedule.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year and can I have references for them? If the contractor does a lot of bathroom remodeling jobs, you should be confident he has the experience to handle yours. Ask for the names, addresses, and phone numbers of customers so you can visit some of them to see whether their projects are similar in scope and to get a look at the quality and workmanship of the company.
  • Is a permit required? Most cities and towns require building permits, and failure to obtain one and the necessary inspections can be illegal. You should know when a permit is required and whether the contractor will obtain one before beginning the work.

 

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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