There’s no more important step when planning a renovation in your home than choosing the right contractor. Whichever contractor you choose to perform the work needs to be a good fit for the project, in addition to being capable and trustworthy. Even if you find a local contractor with a good reputation and excellent references, that contractor still may not have the expertise needed to ensure the best results for your renovation project. Because the project at stake is your home, it’s essential to have confidence in your contractor. Although online review sites make locating contractors as easy as typing in, “find a contractor in my area,” you should take it upon yourself to gather all the information you need that will allow you to make the best decision possible.

With that in mind, here are five key questions you need to ask yourself to guarantee you’re hiring a qualified contractor:


1. How experienced are you with this type of work?

In addition to asking your contractor how long he or she has been in business, it’s important to ask how many projects of a similar nature the contractor has completed in the past. This should give you a better idea of how experienced the contractor is with the type of work you need. If possible, always make sure to ask for contact information of past clients for which the contractor has completed similar projects. If the contractor is unwilling or unable to provide names of past customers, consider looking elsewhere.


2. What kind of qualifications and certifications do you have?

You definitely want to make sure to ask your contractor about previous projects, but it’s also very important to look into the contractor’s licenses and certifications. This includes checking into the contractor’s insurance status, because nothing is more disheartening than finding out the contractor is uninsured after there’s a problem.


3. How much do you expect to be paid for this project, and when?

Don’t let a contractor glide over the details when it comes to payment. A contractor who won’t provide payment details in writing can turn out to be a huge risk for a homeowner. Find out immediately whether or not the contractor expects any payment upfront for the project — and if so, how much. You don’t want to have your project held hostage because of a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation.


4. What kind of timeline are you expecting?

You and your contractor both have busy schedules. You want to be assured that the project won’t drag on past when you expect it to be done, so always ask what kind of timeframe the contractor expects to have the project completed by, and what happens if that deadline isn’t met.


5. What happens if the work doesn’t meet my expectations?

Not every project turns out perfectly, even with the best of intentions. That’s why you need to ask upfront what your contractor intends to do if any issues occur after the project is completed.


Hiring the right contractor is more than a matter of choosing the lowest bidder. By asking the above questions to prospective contractors, you can avoid many of the major headaches that may develop during a renovation. To be sure your project will be handled correctly, contact Erdmann Exteriors today and get a free consultation for your new siding, windows and decking or any other outdoor remodeling project.