Check Contractor References

Kitchen Wall Cabinet Installation

Step # 31 in the Kitchen Remodel Planner

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A very important part of the contractor selection process is checking on their references.  This is one of the most important steps – and is also the step that many homeowners skip!  Who wants to call a complete stranger and ask questions?

It is an important in the process to select which contractor you will hire and it doesnt have to be any more difficult or intimidating than call your cell phone company!  Checking with the references doesn’t have to take very long and it shouldn’t be a long phone call because you will likely not learn much more helpful additional information after you ask a few key questions.


Check Contractor References

The “key” questions to ask when you check contractor references:

  1. “what went wrong during your project – how did the contractor deal with the problem?”  The “what went wrong” question is great because the answer will immediately tell you if the reference is “real”.  A real customer will pause and then describe in some detail what went wrong..which may involve the contractor or may not.  Every person has a story about a “disaster” during remodeling and most have pretty detailed stories to share.  If the reference is not “real” then they will likely be surprised by the question and then say something like “oh it all went smooth” – which is a very rare remodel.
  2. “what is one thing that you wish the contractor did differently”  Listen carefully to the response to this question because we are all creatures of habit and each contractor does somethings well and also something that their customers are not too thrilled about.  You will hopefully hear the latter as a response to this question and you can decide if that contractors habit or style is something you can live with.

The “typical” questions.

  1. When did you use ABC construction?
  2. What work did they do for you?
  3. Was the project completed on schedule and on budget?
  4. Would you hire the contractor again?  For what type of project?
  5. Would your recommend this contractor to your friends and neighbors?