The contractor you ultimately choose to remodel your space can potentially either make or break your project. This is why it’s crucial to hire the right contractor in order to reduce your financial and emotional stress overall.

To ensure you’re only getting a top-rate contractor for your remodeling project, here are five important questions to ask of your potential candidates first.

1. How many years have you been a professional contractor in the area?

Any professional contractor who’s been locally working his trade for a significant amount of time usually has an established team of suppliers and subcontractors in the area along with a good reputation for repeat business. This makes them much more reliable than another contractor who’s new to the business itself or one who plans to make an extra-long commute to do the work.

2. Do you itemize your bids?

Several contractors would rather give you just one, bottom-line price for doing the project. However, this leaves out a lot of details about what they intend to charge for every aspect or phase of the job. For instance, if you originally agreed to install new custom tile in the bathroom, but at the last minute decided to just paint the area instead, how much will you be credited for not using it? With one bottom-line price, you have no way of knowing.

3. Can I see several examples of your previous work?

Ask the contractor if you can see a wide variety of their previous work, whether they show you a physical portfolio or point you to their website online. Any reputable contractor won’t hesitate to show you their outstanding work, knowing that’s how you’ll be primarily judging them overall.

4. Can I meet the job foreman?

Most general contractors spend a great deal of their day bidding on future projects and managing different jobs and staff, which means regardless of whether you choose AP Plumbing or a company near you for your bathroom renovation, it’s up to the job foreman to oversee your remodeling project on a daily basis. Because he’s the main team player, it’s important to meet him. Also, it will send a clear message to your contractor that you really care about who’s in charge and that you won’t tolerate any subpar work or management.

5. Who are your primary suppliers regarding materials?

In order to be a general contractor, you have to network with several key suppliers. As a potential client, you can learn a great deal of information about your contractor just by talking to the proprietors of their suppliers:

• Kitchen and bath showrooms

• Lumber yards

• Custom tile shops

A good contractor won’t have any reservations about letting you know who his suppliers are and how long they’ve been doing business together.

In the end, make sure the contractor you hire has a lot of expert experience in remodeling since it involves a good amount of plumbing, rerouting, and working with infrastructures. The more experience, the better.