If there are no Red Flags and few Yellow Flags, it’s reasonable to assume that the remodeler is one you can further consider to do your project. But is the remodeler properly qualified and the best choice for you, your project, and your budget? Here is a list of considerations to help you decide.
Is the remodeler experienced with the kind of work you are looking for? (kitchen, addition, bathroom, whole house, custom home, energy efficient, green project, etc.)
How many projects like yours has the remodeler done?
Does the remodeler provide design/build services or does the firm estimate and build from your architect’s plans or will they work either way?
Does the remodeling company (including management and staff) seem professional?
Does the company (including management and staff) seem truly focused on customer satisfaction?
Based on your discussion with references, how does the remodeler rate in terms of past client satisfaction?
Does the remodeler use a third-party company like Guild Quality (an industry homeowner satisfaction survey firm) to measure client satisfaction, and if so how do they rate?
How long has the company been in business?
What percentage of the remodeler’s work is repeat or referral based?
In terms of the owners and key people in the firm, do they belong to trade associations such as NARI(National Association of the Remodeling Industry)?
What type of training, experience, and special expertise do the company and staff have relative to the project you are planning?
Does the remodeler (or employees) have industry certifications such as CR and EPA Certified Renovator?
How does the remodeler assure you that what they design can be built within your budget?
What type of pricing does the remodeler offer? (Fixed Fee, Cost Plus, Time and Materials, other?)
Does the remodeler guarantee your price? In what way?
Does the remodeler offer a good warranty? What is it? How does it compare to others in the area?
How many projects does the remodeler do a year and how many will the firm be doing while your project is underway?
What is the remodeler looking for in a client?
Can the remodeler describe the process they use to ensure a smooth, successful project and do you like it?
In what ways will the remodeler help you through the entire process? What type of decisions will you have to make? Which ones can the remodeler help you with? Which decisions can’t the remodeler help you with?
How often will the remodeler meet with you? Who from the firm will be meeting with you?
Who will manage your project day to day? Who will be in charge of overall project management? What is that person’s experience, skill level, training, and certification?
Will the owner of the remodeling company be personally involved with your project?
What percentage of the project manager’s time will be devoted to your project?
Will work continue 5 days a week until it is done? Or, will there be idle times (e.g., worker vacations, time spent on other projects)?
What specific steps does the remodeler take to keep your home, possessions, and the jobsite clean and safe daily, weekly, and at the end of the project?
How does the remodeler handle site security?
Will there be someone on site all the time who speaks my language (or someone who can be called at anytime to interpret)?
When can the remodeler start design?
When can construction begin?
How long will the project take?
In terms of craftsmanship, what level of quality does the remodeler usually provide?
In terms of general building materials, what level of quality does the remodeler use?
In doing estimates, what level of quality does the remodeler factor in for the materials, products, finishes that will ultimately by chosen?
Will the remodeler require you to make all product and material selections prior to giving a final price? If not, how does the remodeler estimate ‘allowances’ for things like tile, lights, appliances, etc.?
What standards of quality, service, craftsmanship, and project management does the remodeler promise at the price that is being quoted for the project?
What does the remodeler detail out in the estimate/proposal? (e.g., if allowances are used, at what level of quality?)
Can the remodeler provide you 5 homeowner references?