Posted by: jeb1 | April 30, 2010

Questions to Evaluate Professional Remodeler

Question Yes No
1. Can you verify the name, address and phone number of the remodeler? Some disreputable remodelers change their company name frequently. X  
2. Can you find the company listed in the phone book or with the Better Business Bureau? What is the complaint record with the BBB?  X  
3. Does the company furnish references? Have you called those references? Remodelers who have been in business for many years will be proud to furnish references from previous clients. X  
4. Does the company carry insurance to protect you from claims related to property damage or jobsite injuries? Will they provide you with a copy of the certificates? If an accident happens on your property, you will be liable.  X  
5. Does the company have a Louisiana Home Improvement License and are you able to verify the company’s licenses? Any remodeler who performs work on projects over $7500 must be licensed in Louisiana.  X  
6. Does the salesperson pressure you to sign a contract? Remodelers who have been in business for many years do not use pressure tactics.   X
7. Are you asked to pay for the entire job in advance, or to pay in cash to a salesperson instead of by check or money order to the company itself?    X
8. Does the remodeler offer, inform or extend notice of your right to cancel the contract within three days? Law requires notification in writing of your “Right of Rescission”. This grace period allows you to change your mind and declare the contract null and void without penalty (if the agreement was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premises-in your home, for instance.)  X  
9. Does the company have an established presence and good reputation in the community? “Fly by night” contractors do not.  X  
10. Does the company offer a warranty of their work? Most homeowners want to work with a company that has been in business for many years and that will stand behind their work.  X  
11. Does the remodeler agree in writing to begin and complete your job within a reasonable timetable? Do the remodeler’s references confirm that the company has a track record of on-time delivery?  X  
12. Can you see 3D drawings of your space before construction starts? Using 3D drawings allows the client to see and make changes to their project before it begins. This helps to eliminate unforeseen costs and surprises during the construction phase.  X  
13. Does the company schedule and attend meetings on time? If a remodeler is unable to keep a schedule before construction they will definitely struggle during construction.  X  
 14. Does the remodeler arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of the record and therefore liable for the work.) If a remodeler suggests that the homeowner does not need a building permit that indicates that he may not be able to get one on his own, due to inability to obtain insurance.  X  
15. Does the remodeler offer an array of options and demonstrate knowledge and experience with a variety of products, materials and techniques? You need a company who can be an “expert guide” for you during the remodeling process.  X  
16. Is the company EPA Lead Paint certified under Section 402 of the Toxic Substances Control Act? If not it’s illegal for the company to do work which disturbs painted surfaces on a pre-1978 house. (As of April 22, 2010)  X  
17. Does the remodeler listen to and understand your needs and wants and work with you to ensure that the plans for your job accurately reflect your expectations? One of the biggest complaints consumers have about contractors is they don’t listen. How will a remodeler know what you want if they do not listen? You should keep a record of all your wants and needs.  X  
18. Does the company handle communications well during the construction phase? If the company does not communicate during planning they will have difficulties during construction.  X  
19. Does the company have open accounts with subcontractors and suppliers? Most suppliers are willing to extend credit to financially sound companies.  X  
20. Does the home remodeler have a track record of successful projects similar to the one you are planning? You don’t want to be the “test case.”  X  
21. Has the remodeler earned any professional designations and degrees? Remodelers who have these credentials are more likely to run your project in a professional manner. X  
22. Does the remodeler make you deal with several different sources, such as a designer, builder, and interior designer?  Your remodeler should handle every aspect of your remodel and manage your job efficiently.    X
23. Does the remodeler keep your budget in mind while planning your project? You don’t want to have any financial surprises during construction or when the project is finished.  X  
24. Does the company manage its employees well and are they able to stay organized? If a remodeler cannot manage their employees or stay organized, your project will be poorly managed and unorganized.  X  
25. Does the remodeler require written change orders for any deviation from the contract, including substitutions? These safeguards will keep your job on budget and lower your risks.  X  

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