What to Look for When Hiring a Contractor | Upfront Remodeling

Choosing a contractor is one of the most critical decisions when undertaking a home remodeling project. A skilled, experienced pro can ensure your vision becomes a reality on budget and on schedule. However, an unqualified or unprofessional contractor puts the success of your project at serious risk. Taking the time upfront to vet candidates thoroughly sets the stage for a smooth process.

How a Contractor Can Contribute to the Success of Your Project

How your project goes depends greatly on who you hire. An organized, experienced contractor understands code compliance, best practices, and how to avoid common pitfalls. They can expertly manage unexpected challenges as well. An amateur or unqualified contractor lacks these capabilities, jeopardizing quality, budget, and timelines. Their mistakes could even impact the structural integrity or resale value of your home in the long run.

Here are some essential things I would consider when choosing a contractor:

1) Take a look at their past work.

One of the best ways to get a feel for a contractor’s skills and quality is by checking out photos of jobs they’ve completed. Any good contractor will have a portfolio to share. I’d look through several past projects to see their style and attention to detail. Make sure the styles match what you envision for your project. And feel free to ask for client references too – those real perspectives can be very helpful.

2) Evaluate their experience.

Experience really matters here. A contractor who has been doing this type of work for many years has likely dealt with all sorts of issues already. They know codes, and practices, and have a process down pat. I’d want someone with a proven track record of 5+ years in the business. New contractors are still learning, so they may have hiccups. Choose a pro with experience finishing projects on time for their clients.

3) Check licensing and insurance.

Licensing and proper insurance coverage are non-negotiable. Verify their credentials and make sure they have liability protection in case any injuries occur. Reputable contractors provide these materials openly, so be wary of anyone evasive about their qualifications and coverage. You don’t want hidden risks!

4) Get multiple quotes.

It’s smart to get at least 3 estimates for comparison. Pricing can vary widely, even for identical jobs. Comparing allows you to identify any bids that seem too good to be true. Carefully review each proposal to understand the scope, timeline, and overall costs. Take your time, making sure you have complete transparency before deciding.

5) Review online feedback.

Many pleased customers post glowing reviews. Checking sites like Google, HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List can provide valuable perspective. Look for common themes highlighting skill, responsibility, and quality work. Steer clear of any contractors receiving multiple complaints that seem unaddressed. Positive feedback from verified customers speaks volumes.

6) Meet in person

Once you have top contenders, schedule interviews. This allows you to assess communication style, and knowledge, and ask any other questions face-to-face. Intangible qualities like work ethic and organization matter a lot too. You want someone you feel confident working closely with for the duration of the project.

7) Request references

As a final check, ask for contacts from recently completed jobs. Speaking directly to past clients gives you insider perspectives on professionalism, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction. Find out how the issues were addressed. Doing this extra vetting step helps ensure you choose a top-rated contractor equipped to deliver great results for your needs.

8) Communication and professionalism

Equally important are intangibles like communication style, attentiveness, and work ethic. The best contractors clearly explain processes, address concerns promptly, and foster collaboration to achieve a shared vision. Unprofessional conduct, poor responsiveness, and a lack of transparency create unnecessary stress. You want a partner you feel comfortable working closely with for the duration of the project.

9) Gut feelings and instincts

No process is perfect, so trust your instincts as well. In-person meetings allow you to evaluate off-the-record factors like organizational skills, team cohesion, and likeability. How someone makes you feel about committing to their services matters a great deal. A contractor should leave you feeling confident and at ease, not anxious or skeptical.


Taking the time to utilize Upfront Remodeling Services is well worth it for the peace of mind and quality outcomes it provides. By focusing on contractors with strong qualifications, experience, and positive reviews, you set yourself up for a smooth and successful remodeling experience.