A quick search in the Tucson area phone book—or a quick online search—will reveal a surprising number of remodelers in our area. But just because someone’s name appears online or in the phone book doesn’t mean they’re qualified to take on a remodeling project in your home.
Chances are, you know to ask for a list of references before deciding which remodeler you want to use. Any reputable remodeler will be happy to provide you with a list of recent projects he’s completed. But you’d be amazed at how few people take the next (critical) step and actually check on those references. Some people may feel a bit awkward about calling someone they don’t know and asking them to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about their recent remodeling experience. But the fact of the matter is that you’re probably going to be living with the results of this remodeling project for quite a while. So it’s worth it to find out what real people really think.
Once you decide to check up on some of the references, it’s important to ask the right questions. Here a few questions to consider when checking out a potential contractor’s references. You’ll probably come up with more questions of your own, but these will get you started.
- Why did you choose this remodeler?
- Did you feel that the contractor had your best interests in mind?
- Did the builder demonstrate character and integrity during the project?
- How well did the contractor communicate change orders to you?
- Did your remodeler treat you with respect?
- Did your builder communicate clearly with you?
- What was the worst thing that happened during the project? Was it resolved to your satisfaction?
- What would you do differently if you were to start over?
- Was your project completed on schedule?
- Did the project come in on budget?
- Did you ever have a time when you felt the remodeler was not being truthful?
- Did your builder meet—or even exceed—your expectations?
- What were your contractor’s best qualities?
- What would you say were your builder’s limitations, or weaknesses?
- Would you use this contractor on another remodeling project?
Can you think of anything else you would want to know about a potential remodeler?