Saving money for a home remodeling takes time and requires restraint in spending. So, when you get ready to launch your project, you don’t want it to turn into a remuddling due to selecting the wrong professionals to guide the work.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may need to begin with an architect who not only can design the project but also provide referrals to reliable contractors.
How to select an architect is a topic for another day. What we’re suggesting here is that you’ll be happier with a remodeling if you ask yourself key questions about what to look for in a contractor and interview at least three before hiring.
What a Contractor Does
Contractors generally aren’t designers although construction companies may have in-house designers. Instead, your contractor is the overall supervisor for your project. Their duties include:
- Selecting sub-contractors, such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers
- Overseeing all aspects of construction
- Maintaining the work schedule you have approved
- Handling payouts for materials and labor
- Being responsible for meeting deadlines and
- Ensuring that worksites are safe and tidy at the end of the day (especially important if you continue to live in the house during construction).
You may decide that you also want your architect to provide project management, typically managed through proven contractor software (an extra fee beyond design), aimed at making sure work proceeds correctly based on the design and materials specified in the design plans.
10 Key Questions to Consider
Here are some important issues to think about before selecting a contractor.
1. Are you hiring the contractor to be a designer as well as a project supervisor? If so, research the contractor’s design credentials and experience.
2. Do you have friends, neighbors or coworkers who can recommend contractors? Praise from someone you trust is valuable. Ask them specific questions about what went right or wrong with their projects. Negative feedback may help you to avoid hiring the wrong person or construction company.
3. If you are relying on online recommendations, how trustworthy are these testimonials? Consider whether you or someone you know has found reliable help for other projects through these sources.
4. If an architect has designed your project, does the architect recommend any of your favored contractors? A contractor your designer respects is likely to be one on whom you can rely.
5. Does a contractor have a reputation for meeting deadlines and keeping the worksite safe? This is a question to ask whoever provides referrals.
6. Is the contractor bonded, licensed and known for providing a well-detailed contract? Once again, ask those who provide referrals and then verify with the contractor. Also, insist on a detailed contract.
7. During the interview process, does a contractor answer your questions in an authoritative (not authoritarian) way? Your contractor should be able to answer your questions without forcing opinions on you.
8. Is a contractor able to provide referrals from former customers? If not, check the contractor off your list.
9. Is a contractor comfortable knowing that you will be interviewing others as well? If a contractor is experienced and knowledgeable, he or she will also be confident enough to accept competition.
10. Does a contractor have experience specific to your project, such as stone veneer work? A stone veneer contractor in the Chicago metro area will have experience with these kinds of projects:
- Stone exterior work including exterior siding options
- Stone siding for berm walls and other hardscape
- Stone fireplace design and installation
- Stone fireplace update and
- Types of fireplace renovation Chicago homeowners need.
The “Click Factor”
Finally, after each contractor interview, there is a certain gut-feeling factor to consider. You have to ask yourself how comfortable you were. Did the two of you “click” by communicating well? Do you think the contractor understands your project needs and can fulfill them?
Interviewing shouldn’t be rushed. You need to be patient and so does each interviewee. A prospective contractor who is willing to answer all your questions so you can make a well-informed decision is one who is likely to be a good communicator during construction.
North Star Stone is proud to say we meet all of these qualifications as a stone veneer contractor. We value our customers, their homes and their business and are always happy to explain the process and answer any questions you have. If you have questions you’d like to ask about stone veneer design for your stone fireplace or exterior stone siding, call us at (847) 996-6850 or contact us here and get a FREE estimate.