www.remodelormove.com’s A SMART remodel approach to remodeling allows homeowners to embark on a remodeling project and achieve results that are not only less expensive, but that are of much higher quality than many people typically find at the conclusion of a renovation project. A critical part of A SMART remodel is working from a contractor interview plan.

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A contractor interview plan is a list of very specific questions that should be posed to each potential contractor you interview for your home remodeling or addition project. It is important to ask the same questions of each contractor and to define the project and the specific materials you want to use. Unless you are consistent in describing the project and the materials and you are consistent in the questions you ask each contractor you will not be able to make a fair and accurate comparison later.

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If you are planning a home addition or a remodeling project, you should plan to interview as many contractors as possible (at least five) before you decide which contractor you will hire. Working from a written list of questions will help you cover all of the details, describe the project and materials for an estimate from each contractor and evaluate the competence of the contractor. You will also want to ask some questions about the subcontractors and workers each contractor uses.

A good contractor interview plan will help you evaluate the following:

  • Is the contractor properly licensed and certified?

  • Does the contractor have enough experience with the kind of project you want done?

  • Does the contractor use his/her own subcontractors and work crew or does he/she hire for each job?

  • What does the contractor say about commitment to quality workmanship?

  • Does the contractor want to use lower quality materials?

  • Can you get a list of current jobs the contractor is doing?

  • Can you get a list of previous similar jobs the contractor has done?

  • Have you interviewed previous clients? How did they feel about working with the contractor?

  • Are you comfortable having this contractor in your home and around your family?

  • Do you trust the safety of your home and property to the workers the contractor will choose?

  • Is the contractor’s estimate a total cost/final cost estimate or is it cost of materials plus an hourly labor amount? (Choose the final cost estimate)

  • Is the contractor adequately insured and bonded?

  • Is the contractor willing to guarantee work quality with a one-year warranty on the work?

  • Can you communicate with the contractor?

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Carefully developing a contractor interview plan will help you choose the right contractor for your project. Your plan should include:

  • A selection of the contractors you will interview.

    RemodelOrMove.com: Contractor Selection Workbook
  • Check the credentials and reputation of each.

  • Interview previous and current clients of each contractor

  • Try to inspect the contractor’s previous work.

  • A list of the materials you want to use and the quality of workmanship you expect.

  • A written estimate from the contractor

  • Comparison of contractor estimates

  • Time to think carefully about your choice.

A SMART remodel begins with A complete plan, puts Safety first, decides whether you should Move or remodel, works with A contractor interview plan, constructs a Right sized project, and keeps a close eye on the Total cost. Your contractor interview plan might be one of the most important steps in planning your remodel or home addition.

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