4 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before You Start Remodeling

By Starmark Home Inspections

Are you remodeling your home?


If you are like millions of Americans, you are doing some type of house improvement job in 2019.  Have you thought about how you are going to choose your remodeler? Do not be wooed by amazing before-and-after photographs – they are produced to catch your attention and impress you, but they do not tell the entire story. There are many things to consider when hiring a contractor. On top of experience and qualifications, the way they treat you as the client and manage their crews can make a big difference in how the project feels to you as you’re living through it.


Remodeling your home can be a rewarding experience for you and your family. Turning a space you’ve lived in for a while into your dream space is an exhilarating and creative process. But you don’t want it to turn into an exhausting or frustrating experience. A project of this scale really can go either way. A large factor in the experience of a remodel is who you choose as a contractor.


A quick google search will show you the hundreds or thousands of contractors in your area. How do you choose? Or maybe you know someone who does this kind of work, or you’ve received a recommendation from a friend. Even if they come highly recommended, a review will hardly tell you what it will be like to work with them day in and day out.


Think about it …


For months your house will be far from the comfortable place it is now. You might lose total use of the space you’re remodeling which causes some inconvenience if it’s a living room or guest bath, but can cause you to revamp your whole routine if it’s the kitchen or master bedroom. On top of that, you’ll be living in a construction zone full of tools that could be hazardous to children surrounded by a constant cloud of sawdust.


As an example, when you review a restaurant, then you do not base your score just on the meals.  You anticipate a superb experience, such as a relaxing setting and attentive service throughout the meal.  In the same way, the total impression of your renovation project will be contingent on the way you and your loved ones have been handled by the remodeling company and its subcontractors from begin to finish.


But remember, a terrible meal lasts only for an hour or so. A terrible renovation is something you can be experiencing day after day and week after week.


We recommend doing extensive research before you make a choice, including interviewing potential candidates.


Four Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Contractor


What’s the work program and projected deadline for this job?

Ensure that the timeline includes job milestones, not just final deadlines. It will be helpful for you to know if they are on track. That way you’ll know if the final deadline will need to be extended weeks in advance, instead of at the last minute. Plus, it will make you feel better to be able to see progress on a checklist during the times when it looks like nothing is actually changing in your home.


Additionally, you need to be made aware of other important dates like if a utility will probably be interrupted or if paint fumes will fill the house. Consider your other plans when making the schedule. Do you have a vacation coming up? Maybe that can coincide with when your water or power needs to be off for a few days. If you have small children, you might want to be extra careful when planning the schedule. There are a lot of possible dangers to kids on a worksite. Consider their school and play schedules as well as any sensitivities they might have to the process.


What are the possible dangers associated with this remodel?

While nobody can predict every barrier that will appear on work site, the two remodelers and homeowners should take security precautions and be ready for setbacks.  Learn what substances, tools, materials and other gear will be utilised in your house and how they’ll be kept when not being used. Becoming aware of possible risks is critical to keeping your loved ones safe.  This is a good time to discuss lead paint and the potential for asbestos removal if your home was built before 1980.


What are your dust management practices?

Exposure to little dust particles can result in significant health issues affecting the lungs and the center, as stated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The danger is magnified when anybody in the house has breathing difficulties, allergies or other chronic problems.

Pick a remodeler that follows best practices, such as isolating the area by putting plastic over entrances and exits, and sealing off vents to protect your HVAC unit. Adding negative air pressure whilst maintaining appropriate ventilation can help seal off the work area so proper ventilation is maintained but the dust stays inside the construction zone.  Ask if they use an air scrubber to accumulate and remove dust particles. You don’t want to be responsible for having to clean the air yourselves after the construction crew leaves.


How do I assist you?

Learn what you could do to make the process go as easily as possible.  Along with keeping children and pets away from the workplace, try not to divert or hover over your remodeling staff so they can get the job done safely and economically. That’s why you’ve got the milestones laid out – so you don’t have to constantly worry about what they are doing or how fast they’ll be done. It’s all a part of the process.


Finding the right contractor for your project can be a big job in and of itself, but taking the time to find a perfect fit will be worth it in the long run. You don’t want to end up with a nightmare remodeling experience!

Check out this before and after for a little reno inspiration:


Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not to be used as legal or financial advice. Any action you take from information on this website is at your own risk.

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