10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Home Improvement Contractors

Your home is your palace, and it should feel that way to you — beautifully appointed, perfectly functioning, and tailored to suit your unique needs. If your home isn't ticking those boxes, you need the help of skilled service professionals to make your home improvement dreams a reality.

Finding the right home improvement contractors for your residential property can be a big challenge. From a single family dwelling to a condominium unit and everything in between, Fairfield County homeowners take pride in their properties and want to make sure their home improvement contractors can deliver exceptional workmanship and outstanding customer service throughout the project.

To ensure that you've found the right fit, it pays to call up a couple of your prospective home improvement contractors and ask them some questions. That's why Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County put together this guide to 10 important questions you should ask home improvement contractors before you seal the deal. Any individuals or companies who are proud of their work should be pleased to answer these questions, so don't hesitate to ask!

1. Do You Do This Type of Work?

This is the first thing you'll want to ask, because if the home improvement contractor you're speaking with doesn't provide the services you're looking for, well... that's pretty much the end of the conversation! You can sometimes find a list of local services on their website, but they aren't always exhaustive lists so it doesn't hurt to ask if you don't see exactly what you need online.

2. How Long Have You Been in Business?

It's not necessarily a bad thing if a contracting company has only been in business for a short period of time — after all, the contractors may have worked elsewhere and have experience beyond that one company. However, if the company has only been operating for a few weeks or months, that could be a red flag signaling that they plan to use deceptive business practices and take your money without completing the project to your satisfaction.

Also, a company that has been operating for a longer period of time will have more practice with processes such as scheduling and billing. Those things don't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of their services, but the entire experience will be smoother and more pleasant for you if they are handled competently.

3. How Much Experience Do You Have with This Project?

We've all heard the old saying, practice makes perfect. That's certainly true of home improvement. It's important to find out if your potential home improvement contractors have experience with the project you want to hire them for. Just because they've installed tile before, that doesn't mean they're capable of handling full bathroom or kitchen remodeling projects. Get specific and explain the full scope of the project you have in mind, and ask them for detailed information on similar work they've done in the past.

4. Are You Licensed and Insured?

It may seem obvious that your potential home improvement contractor will meet all licensing requirements and have insurance, but that's not always the case. It's important to ensure that they are licensed, because that gives you reassurance that they receive ongoing training and know how to follow all applicable building codes — and if they don't meet a licensing requirement, you shouldn't work with them. Insurance is important so that, in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you won't be on the hook to cover costs. Mr. Handyman's service professionals are licensed and insured with general liability and workers' compensation.

5. Can You Show Me Photos of Your Completed Work?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and home improvement contractors know that better than most. They should be able to show you plenty of photos illustrating the quality of their work, from minor repair jobs to major remodels, so you can judge for yourself if it's up to your standards. They may be able to email you some photos, or show you agallery of local work on their website.

6. Are You Planning to Hire Sub-Contractors for This Job?

Sometimes you think you're hiring a particular person to complete home improvement work, but different home improvement contractors show up to your house. Using sub-contractors isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's good to clearly understand in advance who will be handling the actual work. If sub-contractors are going to be used, will your main contractor be on the job site to supervise them? You can request contact information for each individual that will be entering your home so you can ensure that you are comfortable with them.

7. How Long Do You Estimate This Will Take?

Getting a rough time estimate will help you plan your budget and schedule, but keep in mind that it's only a loose time frame — a "guesstimate," if you will! When they examine the project in person, they'll be able to understand the full scope of the work and identify potential trouble spots that may cause it to take longer, so you'll get a much more accurate time estimate at that point. Additionally, remember that unexpected situations can occur during a renovation that may considerably increase the time it takes to complete the work. If that happens, your home improvement contractor should be able to explain the need for extra time and re-estimate how long it will take.

8. How is Billing and Payment Handled?

It's crucial that you understand the home improvement contractors' expectations for billing and payment to make sure they're acceptable to you. Will the entire payment be due upfront before the work begins, or will you be billed afterward? Are digital payments accepted? Cash only? Find out the details so you know if you're in agreement about how the billing and payment will be taken care of.

9. How Will Additional Costs Be Dealt With?

Next, you need to know what happens if an unexpected cost arises. You may think you have every last dollar accounted for before the work starts, but home improvement budgets are often derailed by unpleasant surprises. For example, your home improvement contractors could be working on a siding replacement, only to discover the material underneath has suffered water damage and needs to be replaced as well. It's essential that your contractor seeks your approval before doing any additional work that would stretch your agreed-upon budget, and that should be outlined in your home improvement contract.

10. Is Your Workmanship Guaranteed?

Finally, ask what happens if the work is not done correctly. If the home improvement contractors you are speaking with offer a guarantee, then it's a sign that they are confident in their ability to get the work done correctly the first time, and to a high-quality standard. It also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that if something is incorrect, it will be fixed at no additional charge to you. That's what Mr. Handyman's Done Right Promise is all about — if it's not done right, we promise to make it right!

Need Home Improvement Contractors? Trust Mr. Handyman for Expert Services

Whether you're in Ridgefield, Westport, Darien, or another part of Fairfield County CT, you can rely on the service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County for superior quality workmanship and customer service that goes above and beyond.

Give us a call today at 866-550-1710 to make a service request and to find out more about how we can enhance your home and make your life easier!