How to Hire Trustworthy Professionals for Home Remodeling Projects

home remodeling

You want to hire a contractor to remodel your home. But where should you start? Asking a search engine returns dozens of options, but some are paid advertisements. It’s hard to find the right fit remotely, and you don’t want to take any chances when you entrust your home to a stranger. Knowing how to hire trustworthy professionals for home remodeling projects is a matter of vetting them so you can make an informed decision. Consider these guidelines next time you’re searching for the perfect electrician, carpenter or foreman.

Interview Candidates

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential candidates, it’s time to pick up the phone. Treat your first phone call like an interview so you can learn more about each option and eliminate any individuals or companies who aren’t a good fit. Here are a few questions to ask prospects right out of the gate, according to This Old House:

  • Do you take on projects of this size?
  • How many other projects would you have going simultaneously?
  • Which financial institutions do you work with? Can you provide references?
  • Can you provide a list of previous clients?
  • Who are your subcontractors, and how long have you worked with them?

Compare Bids

The phone interview helped you identify top candidates; now it’s time to meet with them and collect estimates. Ask specifically for itemized bids from each candidate. Sure, it’s easier to get one, bottom-line price estimate. But if the nature of the project changes, a dispute may arise about how the price should change accordingly. If professionals itemize their bids, it’s easy to adjust if necessary (and determine what they’re asking for each category is fair). It’s a red flag when contractors resist itemizing bids.

Verify Proof of Insurance and Business License

The professional you hire to remodel your home should be bonded, insured and licensed. As Angie’s List writes, a contractor’s bond “may protect [homeowners] from being saddled with an unpaid supply bill or the cost of unpaid workers on the project” and “could cover any damage to the property as a result of a contractor’s negligence or, in serous circumstances, lost or stolen property.”

Of course, homeowners should make sure their own insurance policy is up to snuff before they allow anyone into their home or make any structural changes. While you’re investigating contractors, compare homeowners insurance rates to find a plan capable of protecting your finances during and after the remodeling project. Otherwise you could face steep out-of-pocket bills if anyone sustains injuries while working on your property.

Check Ratings and References

Ask potential hires for a list of references—and contact each one directly to confirm they had a positive experience working with said professional. You’ll also want to conduct a search with your local Better Business Bureau, where you can read customer reviews and complaints. There, you can also learn whether or not companies have received their BBB Accreditation, meaning they’ve met a series of criteria and maintained at least a “B” rating.

Get the Contract in Writing

Whether it’s mandatory in your state or not, you need a clearly written contract to guide the project and clear up disputes before they occur. The contract should include important information like payment schedule, obligations, materials, extra promises and timeline. You and the contractor you’ve hired should both keep a copy.

Before you can jump into your home remodeling project, you have to know how to hire trustworthy professionals to get the job done. Doing the prep work—like making sure both of your insurance policies are in line before proceeding—can save you hassles and expenses down the line.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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