Ask These 4 Questions When Interviewing Contractors for Your Renovations

  • Jill Schwartz
  • 02/27/19

Take the first step towards renovations, remodels, and rejuvenation.

What better way to usher in the new year than by finally getting started on those remodeling plans? Renovations are an exciting way to build your unique dream home, allowing you to customize to your heart’s content and add amenities that will increase the value of your Washington, D.C. real estate.

When you’re ready to make this plan a reality, the first step you’ll need to take is to find the right contractor. With so many options to choose from, asking these questions will help decide if a contractor is a perfect fit for you.
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Are You Legally Licensed?

Although you may assume this is a given, it’s still within your right to ask. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a copy of their license, as your home is a serious investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

If they aren’t licensed in the state they’re currently working in, don’t continue negotiating. This most likely means they aren’t taking this work seriously as a professional career.
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Who Will Be Working On-Site?

In most cases, the contractor you make the deal with is the project manager--not the one who will actually be doing the physical work. Inquiring about the job’s foreman is an important aspect since they will be the ones responsible for executing the renovation. 

You can inquire about things like the foreman’s length of employment and job history. You can even ask for a copy of their license or request to meet them in person prior to hiring. The advantages of this include the opportunity to assess the foreman's character and getting assigned one of the best workers on the contracting team. Since you’re meeting them prior to closing the deal, the project manager will want to show you their team’s best face.
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Can You Itemize Your Bid?

It’s common practice for contractors to present a solid number when creating the project brief. You’ll explain what you want to be done, and they’ll respond with a standard rate for the work. To make sure you’re getting a fair and accurate price, ask your contractor to itemize the bid. 

This means breaking down the lump sum into the individual components. You’ll get a better grasp at what is going into the project and can avoid being taken advantage of. If you see an issue in pricing, don’t hesitate to inquire further.

Is Your Bid an Absolute Price or an Estimate?

Clarification on the bid can save immense trouble and confusion down the line. Nothing is worse than budgeting for one price and getting slammed with a bill that’s totally beyond your expected range. 

Not all contractors operate in the same way. For some, the bid is a rough estimate subject to change as the project goes on. For others, it’s a calculated total that won’t move a cent. Make sure you know what terms you’re agreeing to before going forward with the project. 
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For more home improvement tips and tricks, don’t hesitate to reach out. It would be my pleasure to help consult you on your Washington, D.C. luxury real estate.

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