Many homeowners usually encounter at least one remodel project in their lifetime. While it may seem like a simple task, it can be greatly complicated by hiring the wrong contractor. The problem is many people don’t know what to look for when making a decision. The truth is there’s more to finding a great contractor than looking at price. The following are just five things to look for in a home improvement contractor.

Education and Licenses

One of the first things you want to see is proof of education and licenses. The last thing you want is to hire a contractor that isn’t licensed. Not only can this lead to poor-quality work, but it might also lead to damage to your home. Do your homework and determine the type of education and licenses a contractor would need for your project. For example, if you’re having your bathroom remodeled, make sure the contractor is licensed to work on plumbing.


Education and licenses only go so far. It’s important for a contractor to also have experience. In other words, it’s not a good idea to hire a contractor who is fresh out of school. You want to hire someone that has years and years of experience. The ideal contractor will have at least 15 years of experience.


Another thing you need to ask for is references. You might obtain these references from the contractor directly or you might ask friends for recommendations. For example, if you know someone who recently had a remodel, ask who they used and if they would recommend them. You can also use online companies to determine who the best contractors are in your area. If you get your references from the contractor, make sure they are references you can actually call to talk about the quality of the work that was completed.


A contractor can talk all day about their skills, but if you want to really know how well they work, ask to see a portfolio. A good portfolio will include before and after shots, a list of tasks that were completed on each project, along with how much time and money the project took. This applies to any type of contractor, from driveway pavers to lawn care specialist.


Last, but not least, you want a contractor that is honest. One way you can determine a contractor’s honesty is to ask questions you already know the answer to. For example, if you’re having your bathroom gutted and fully remodeled, you might ask how long the project will take. If the contractor says it will only take a couple days, you know that he is only telling you what you want to hear instead of being honest. A full bathroom remodel normally takes at least one week.

Remodels are stressful enough, but hiring the wrong contractor can turn your remodel into a nightmare. That’s why you need to take the time to look for a contractor that can provide you will the items listed above.