3 questions NOT to ask a remodeling contractor

by | Nov 8, 2017 | Project Planning | 0 comments

We hope when you’re undertaking a kitchen remodel, master bath remodel, whole house remodel or any remodeling project, you’re doing your due diligence by considering a handful of design remodel firms. It is not uncommon during an initial discussion with a prospective client to be asked a bunch of questions. Interestingly though, we often get asked some questions that don’t really separate the pros from the posers.

Here are those questions and why they may not tell you much about how your project will actually go:

Do you do quality work?

Quality is completely in “the eyes of the beholder”. I have been on projects where the homeowner is absolutely thrilled with the quality of work they received and in my mind, the quality of work would not pass for a 12th grade shop class project.

Sometimes it helps, especially with topics like “quality” to have a couple of examples. Take a look at your interior doors, does the trim in the corners meet perfectly or are there gaps and cracks in the corners? Does the door close tightly against the trim or does the door rattle when it is closed? Is there a doorstop on the wall to prevent it from damaging the wall?

And while you’re looking at the woodwork in your home, look at how your hardwood floors transition to your carpeted or tiled floors. Do they line up or is one floor noticeably higher than the other?

When you’re talking about quality, the devil is in the details and there are hundreds of them. So have a good understanding of what quality you expect. If you are still unsure your remodeling contractor of choice can meet your demand, ask to take a look at some of their projects.


How long will this remodeling project take?

This is a legitimate question, but unfortunately it is not going to help you weed through the myriad of concerns you have in the interviewing process. I will address typical job durations in another blog, so make sure to check back periodically or let me know that you’d like to receive a link when it’s ready.

A better question you could ask is: how do you plan and schedule your projects and how do you manage to keep it on schedule?  If your remodeling contractor uses a technology solution to manage your project, I am sure he will share it with you. Maybe he has a proven paper-based method or he may use what I like to call the “seat of the pants” method. Knowing the answer to these questions will help you select the best contractor.

How much is this remodeling project going to cost?

Cost (along with schedule) are the two more tangible aspects of a remodeling project seemingly available early in the process. And knowing the cost helps you know if you can afford what you want and love. For most people, it’s a necessity before being able to commit to the project. But asking this question early in the interview process is a bit like asking someone to marry you on your first date. If pressed, some remodeling contractors will aim low to keep the conversation going.

Instead, ask: for the caliber of home that we live in, what is the typical cost range for the remodeling project we are considering? For example, if you’re looking to completely remodel the kitchen of your $500,000 home, then ask what a typical range for a kitchen remodel would be for a $500,000 home. And please know that one price range does not cover the full spectrum of home prices for a typical kitchen remodel. If you Google what the average kitchen remodel costs, you will get an answer like $21,984.00 (at the time of this writing). This amount might not even cover the costs of an appliance package for some kitchen remodel projects. Remember, this is still the “first date” with your remodeling contractor, so it is going to take some time to fully understand the costs of what you are wanting.


As you can see there are some common questions that can be adjusted a bit to get answers that can help you make a more informed decision about your remodeling contractor and project. We’ll talk further about interview questions, but in the meantime if you have questions for us feel free to drop us a line.

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