Nailing Your Project Estimation Interview: Insights and Top Questions

When hiring a remodeling contractor, there are several project estimation interview questions you need to ask to ensure the most stress-free process for yourself.

These questions guarantee that you have the needed information to hire the right contractor.

Here are five questions to ask your contractor when interviewing for your next home project.

Most importantly, you’ll need to verify current licensing and insurance, and check references. It’s also important to ask about the project timeline, payment schedule and whether the contractor offers any warranties or guarantees. However, there are a few questions many homeowners don’t think to ask contractors, but should. Here are five such questions:

How many similar projects have you done recently?

Because remodeling is a complex field, contractors often specialize in certain remodels such as kitchens, bathrooms or home additions. This question lets you know whether or not the contractor has extensive experience in the remodel you want to do for your home.

Request a list of references from the contractor of recent jobs similar to the one you’re requesting. In addition to their references, check the following online sources for reviews:

Multiple positive reviews of a contractor’s work on similar projects will make you more confident in hiring them for the job.

Can you handle design or will I need to hire an architect?

Most remodeling projects require some level of architectural design, especially those that involve major changes like moving walls or adding on to the home.

Ask the contractor if architectural drawings will be necessary and if they can provide these or if you’ll need to outsource them. Some remodeling contractors offer design services, which can be convenient. However, it’s a good idea to assess a contractor’s capabilities before agreeing to have them design your project.

If the contractor doesn’t do design, you’ll need to account for this as an additional cost to you. This can be quite costly, especially when contracted to an independent architectural firm. To save money, try to find a contractor that provides design services as well.

Do you use subcontractors or independent contractor? If so, are they licensed and insured?

It’s incredibly common for remodeling companies to hire subcontractors to work on projects outside of the contractor’s area of expertise. Sub contractors are not a bad thing if they have the correct legal credentials and go through a screening process.

Ask your potential company if they require their contractors to hold:

  • General liability insurance
  • Workmans comp
  • Sub contractor screening process
  • Background checks

Make sure to get a copy of the contractor and subcontractor’s insurance before starting the project.

How will you communicate with me once work begins?

One thing that often gets overlooked on remodeling projects is communication, which can result in a lot of stress and frustration.

Some companies will have you reach out to the crew foreman. However, the best method of communication is via a “Project Manager” who provides daily or weekly updates who you can contact at anytime.

What steps will you take to protect my property?

This question usually isn’t thought of until after you hire a company, but should be one of the main questions you ask. Here are some additional questions you can ask about protecting your property.

  • Will you use tarps to cover large furniture and surfaces in work areas?
  • Will crew members wear shoe coverings when entering my home?
  • Will you recommend furniture/items that I should move to other areas of my home to prevent damage?
  • Will you close or lock doors as necessary when entering and leaving my home?
  • Will my hardwood floors be protected by Hardboard, rosin paper or something similar?

Asking your contractor these questions will save you stress and protect you in the long run. As you come up with a list of things to discuss with potential contractors, include these project estimation interview questions to protect your home.

Aaron’s Painting and Remodeling provides exceptional and professional remodeling services to homeowners in Overland Park and surrounding areas. We have been a BBB accredited business since 2013. Contact us for a free quote on your next home project.

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