Don’t Hire a Remodeling Contractor Until You’ve Asked These Questions
If you plan to remodel or renovate at the end of this year or early in 2020, you’ll need to find local Des Moines contractors who you can trust to get the job done.
Choosing a contractor is just as important as your remodeling plans.
Get the wrong contractor, and you could find that project management and daily progress are seriously compromised. Take your time to find the ideal fit for your home, and you’ll be rewarded with a stress-free process without unnecessary setbacks. Your choice of contractor will also influence price, the home improvements that are available, and the quality of workmanship.
Before you sign anything, follow this checklist of questions that you need to ask a whole home remodeling contractor in Iowa.
How Long Have You Been in the Home Remodeling Business?
Experience matters in the Des Moines Home Remodeling industry. With experience, contractors and their teams can deal with on-site challenges, prepare a better workflow, and provide more consistent results with the highest quality.
Learning the length of time that a contractor has worked in the industry can give you confidence for your next project. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number here. The length of time a business has been incorporated will not necessarily reflect the experience of the general contractor, carpenters, design professionals, and other people on staff.
In addition to asking about experience and time in the industry, ask to see previous projects. When you combine a portfolio with the contractor’s experience, you’ll get a feel for whether they’re the right option for your complete home remodeling.
Are You Licensed and Insured?
Credentials can inspire confidence. You should seek contractors that are licensed and accredited with well-known industry organizations. Your choice of contractor should also be fully insured. Workers compensation and liability insurance should be specific to the type of work that is being performed.
You can ask your contractor for a breakdown of their insurance coverage and any other credentials before you commit to their services.
Can You Help with Permit Application and Inspections?
Permits aren’t required for every odd job around the home. A Des Moines handyman can typically perform minor or moderate home improvements without seeking approval from local authorities.
However, any major improvements, such as whole home remodeling, will likely need permits and inspections before the work is signed off. Ask your contractor how they will deal with the application and inspection process. The more they can help here, the more time you will save.
What’s a Realistic Timeframe for the Project?
Modern project management and construction software allow contractors to determine job specifications and timeframes to a high level of accuracy. While a project timeframe will never be 100% correct, you should be able to get a confident estimate from your contractor.
If you find a contractor that is cagey or in any way reluctant to commit to a timeframe, then they might not have the necessary resources to manage and complete the job to your expectations.
Find a contractor that is transparent and communicative. They should be able to provide an itemized breakdown of each stage of the project, allowing you to see an approximation of how long the work will take
Will I Have a Dedicated Project Manager/Point of Contact?
If you can’t easily communicate with your contractor, you’ll have a hard time getting through your whole home remodel. Your general contractor may act as the project manager, and this should make them your point of contact. If the contractor expects you to ask questions and seek updates from the staff and subcontractors on site, then you’ll usually end up with communications problems and a lack of accountability.
Don’t ever work without a dedicated point of contact on a whole home remodeling project. It’s simply not worth the stress and uncertainty. The best contractors in Des Moines will make themselves available throughout remodeling, and you will always know exactly who to talk to for updates or any problems.
Can You Describe Your Working Process for Whole Home Remodeling?
You’ll feel more confident in your choice of contractor if you know what their daily working process is like. You should know exactly what to expect whenever someone is in your home doing demo, installation, or finishing etc.
Key points that need to be covered include:
- Agreed start and finish times on workdays.
- Any steps that you need to perform so that contractors can get to work.
- Expectations of noise from demo, ongoing work, power tools etc.
- Authorized personnel that will have site access and whether you (or a family member) needs to be home.
In addition to the basics, there are other items that should be covered when discussing the process. Parking should be addressed, and you shouldn’t be afraid to set out any rules for workers on site. Restroom access and areas of the home that are off-limits should be covered.
You also have some responsibility in this area. If you have any special requests or important points that workers need to know, then these should be raised as early as possible. Pets at home should be secured, and minors should not be left unattended while anyone is working on site.
How Do You Protect My Property?
The general working process and practices should extend to how your Des Moines contractor will protect your property. What steps will they take to mitigate dust and debris? What is their daily cleanup process? How will they store tools, materials, and equipment that will be left in your home?
What’s Your Process for Cost Overruns and Change Orders?
The same technology that allows for accurate and efficient planning can also result in more accurate cost estimations. However, it’s important to remember that estimations are exactly such… and they’re subject to change.
Experts recommend that homeowners budget at least 10% for emergency costs and overruns. Some say that up to 25% provides a better safety net.
The better your contractor, the more accurate the estimate will be. You should also aim to start work as soon as possible after the planning stage, so that material price fluctuations won’t impact the final bill.
In addition, ask your contractor what their process is for communicating extra costs. You also need to ask how they handle change orders generated by you during construction. Generally, you want to limit or completely avoid change orders to prevent time and cost overruns. Spend more time in the planning stage and you’ll be less likely to want to adjust things on the fly.
Does Your Home Remodeling Come with a Warranty?
Want to know if you can trust your Des Moines contractor? Ask them if they stand behind their work.
Warranties come in different forms, covering workmanship, materials, and fixtures/hardware. The more extensive the warranty, the more confidence you’ll have knowing that you’ve found the right whole home remodeling contractor to work with.
Get the Best Answers to These Questions from Iowa’s Leading Contractors
Now that you know what to ask your contractor, it’s time to meet a local Des Moines team that can provide the right answers, and the work that will improve your home.
HomeWorx Iowa is your partner for complete home remodeling, handyman work, and minor improvements inside and around your home. We go to great lengths to provide a stress-free service that will leave you completely satisfied when you perform the final walkthrough.
Some of the ways that we inspire confidence include:
- We offer an extensive consulting service with professional designers. 3D modeling is utilized so that you can see your potential improvements before they take shape. This allows for more accurate cost estimation and eliminates surprises.
- You’ll deal with a dedicated point of contact, making it simple and stress-free to ask questions, get updates, or raise concerns.
- The team at HomeWorx has extensive experience in the industry and a portfolio of hundreds of local jobs completed. Our customer satisfaction is a point of pride.
- We guarantee our work and will explain all warranties prior to work commencing. We’re also fully licensed and insured.
- We manage timeframes and costs with extreme attention to detail. If anything is likely to change, we’ll keep you in the loop and look for solutions to keep your budget under control.
- We are fully transparent and communicative. We want you to feel at ease as we work, and we always honor our agreements.
For the easiest way to remodel your home in Des Moines, talk to contractors that you can trust. The team at HomeWorx is ready to take your concept and create a home that you will love to live in. Contact us today to meet the team and discuss any project that you have in mind.