How to Check a Remodeler’s Client References

Before choosing a remodeling professional, the wise homeowner asks for a list of client references. The confident remodeling professional will encourage prospective clients to call these references and ask about their experience and level of satisfaction throughout the planning, construction, and follow-up work. Here is a list of 10 good questions to ask a potential remodeler’s references before signing a contract.

1. Was the house finished on time and within budget?

2. Would you recommend the remodeler to others?

3. Did you protect the remodeler from dust and damage with surface protection products?

4. Do they feel they received value for the time, money, and energy they spent?

5. How comfortable was your communication with your remodeler?

6. Does the remodeler meet deadlines and schedules?

7. Was the house finished as expected?

8. Was the remodeling professional and his team pleasant to work with?

9. Did you feel that problems or change orders were handled effectively and fairly?

10. As a final question, consider asking, “Is there anything else I should ask or want you to know?

If you discover a problem, don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, get the remodeler’s side of the story. For example, if the project ran over budget, a follow-up conversation might reveal that the owners made many costly changes after things were underway. These types of follow-up conversations set the stage for honest communication.

Any homeowner who has lived in their home during a kitchen or bathroom remodel has experienced the sheer amount of dust that is generated. A good remodeler will contain the dust so that it does not present a health hazard by using a dust containment system. Additionally, surface protection should be used for carpet, countertops, cabinets, tubs, and other installed finishes if these fixtures will remain in place during the remodel. These surface protection products should not be added to the cost of the remodel after the owner complains, but should be included in the original offer.

The remodelers offer must include the full budget and an estimated completion date. You should also include each remodeler’s policies and costs, including administrative fees, for making changes once the project is underway. Before making the final decision, the homeowner should meet with each remodeling prospect to review the offer, ask clarifying questions, and confirm the numbers. After all, it wouldn’t do anyone any good to rule out a qualified candidate, or end up in trouble later, because there was a math error in the offer.

Any reluctance on the part of the constructor to provide references is a red flag. An approachable attitude is a good sign that the builder values ‚Äč‚Äčtransparency and is confident in his reputation.

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