6 questions to ask a contractor before you take on a home renovation project

Home renovations, from a small bathroom upgrade to a brand new kitchen, are quite the undertaking. You might put in months or even years of planning, saving and time to make your home just the way you want it.

That’s why when you decide to finally get to work, you need the right pro. The wrong contractor can make an already stressful situation so much worse.

Your first step in finding the right person? Angi. Angi is a free app you can use to find a professional, read reviews from real users and schedule your service. Angi even gives you a Happiness Guarantee. When you book and pay with Angi, they’ll cover your project up to the full purchase price, plus limited damage protection.

Questions every home owner should be asking

Once you find someone who looks up to the job, it’s time to start asking questions. The answers can help you determine whether you found your perfect match.

  1. How long have you been in the business? When it comes to finding someone to see you through a project, no matter how big or small, you want someone with the right experience. Someone who has 20 years of experience is still working for a reason; if they perpetually cut corners or hire bad subcontractors, they probably wouldn’t have lasted quite so long.
  2. Are you licensed and insured? Do your due diligence and be sure anyone working in your home has the correct licensing and insurance. If not, you could be liable in case something goes wrong.
  3. Can I see an example contract? First of all, you should never entrust a major (or even minor) project to someone who won’t sign a contract. A reputable contractor will insist on it. Once you know this person uses contracts, you should ask for a copy of a sample. Read through it and look for any issues or red flags. Ask questions and only sign something you are comfortable with.
  4. How do you prefer to communicate? There’s nothing more frustrating than trying, and failing, to get ahold of someone you are entrusting with a big project. Talk to potential contractors about how and how often they prefer to communicate. If you want to be in the loop, someone who emails a status report each week might not cut it. Someone who texts you might feel intrusive or annoying. A solid professional will generally adjust their processes to fit the client, so make sure to communicate what you want.
  5. Can I see examples and get some references? This is one of the most important parts of your hunt for information. You need to see real-world examples of this person’s work. Ideally, you’ll be able to chat with (or at least read a review from) a past client or two, as well. If the contractor you’re talking to is hesitant to show you any past work, that’s a sign you should find someone else.
  6. What is your timeline for completion? Experienced pros should be able to give you a solid timeline. Everyone who has ever done a home project knows it always takes more time than you imagined, but someone with know-how will account for that in their estimate.

Download Angi

Angi truly takes all the hassles out of hiring contractors. It’s easy to use and connects you with the right people to do things around the house. Kim has used it for everything from finding painters to landscape pros.

Instead of spending hours researching, you can instantly get information on thousands of real professionals. You don’t have to scour the web for reputable sources; with Angi, you can search reviews, request quotes and book your home improvement project all in one place.

The easiest way to find the right contractors through Angi is with its free app. It’s available for both iOS and Android.