27 Mar What to look for when hiring a basement contractor
You’ve purchased your family home, you’ve remodeled the main living area of your new family home and now it is time to remodel the basement. You’ve looked at countless magazine photos and Pinterest posts for ideas for your basement remodel.
You’ve decided what purpose your new basement will be, you’ve planned your budget and now you have decided this is not a project you want to take on yourself.
You are ready to hire a contractor for your basement remodel.
Simply doing an internet search for Chicago Basement Finishers returned more results than you can sift through. Searching for a more specific area of Chicago like Naperville Finished Basement Remodeling has narrowed the results somewhat but exactly what do you look for in a basement remodeling contractor?
Below are several questions to consider asking a potential basement contractor.
How long have you been in business?
Though there is no set number of years a company should be in business to be considered reputable, obviously, you wouldn’t feel comfortable being the first customer of a brand new company. Some industry experts state that five years is a decent indicator of experience.
Are you licensed?
This is extremely important. An unlicensed contractor can cause major damage to your home and it can be very difficult to get them to correct any damage or to get your money back.
Are you insured, and for how much?
Another extremely important question to ask, anything can happen when operating machinery. A contractor should be insured at the very least the same amount of the value of your home.
Will you be pulling the permits?
Permits are time-consuming and add cost to your project, for these reasons many homeowners and contractors skip the permit process. This is not an ideal thing to do. If the city you live in discovers your remodel was done without a permit, getting a retroactive permit will be difficult and cost more than getting the permit before the remodel. Also, keep in mind that if in the future you choose to sell your home you will be required to disclose that work was done without a permit which could all but stop the sale of your home.
Do you have products specially designed for basements?
Basements tend to have moisture problems, a contractor should have a strong knowledge of products best used to control mold and mildew in basements. Also, basements can be dark a contractor should be well-versed in several lighting options for your project.
How many employees do you have?
This may seem like an odd question to ask but it is quite helpful to know if all the work will be done by this contractor or will they sub-contract the work. There is nothing wrong with having subcontractors but having subcontractors can cause some quality control issues.
Will I receive a detailed drawing, scope of work and guaranteed price?
Any drawings (CAD or otherwise), scope of work and pricing should be written on official company logo paper. It should also be signed by a company representative.
If you keep these questions in mind when meeting with potential contractors you should be able to make a choice you are comfortable with.