Aug 11, 2022
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6 Questions To Ask Residential Renovation Contractors

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Philip Shepel

any homeowners conduct residential renovation projects to improve or update their homes. Although the do-it-yourself (DIY) route is a viable approach, it may not be the best idea, especially if you’re planning a major renovation. Massive renovation projects would often require intensive planning, the right materials, equipment, and most importantly, the skills and knowledge of professional residential renovation contractors.

If you want your home renovation to start on a good note, hiring qualified renovation contractors is the best way to go. These experts have the experience that can positively create a significant difference with the results of your home’s renovation. But before you officially announce your home to be under renovation, there may be several questions you’ll need to ask your renovation contractors. After all, a home renovation project can be costly and timely, and knowing the advantages and risks beforehand will prepare you for the project.

This article will present six questions you’ll need to ask the residential renovation contractors that could give you peace of mind before the project begins.

1. Are you licensed or insured?

builder handyman with construction tools

When renovating a house, where do you start? The first thing on your to-do list is to hire the most reliable renovation contractor. Ask about their licenses and insurance requirements before finalizing your choice.

Licenses and insurances may vary in different states, so you need to know and understand the requirements in your area. Asking your contractors to present their licenses will assure you that they’re legally accredited to work for your home project under their specific field of expertise.

Additionally, ask for their certificate of insurance before the project starts. Remember that accidents and mishaps are common during renovation projects. Hiring insured contractors will give you the assurance that they’re covered in case accidents happen.

2. Will you obtain the permits and inspections required for the project?

Small changes in your home may not require permits or inspections. But for projects that require massive structural changes, you’ll need to obtain proper permits. Thus, don’t forget to ask your residential renovation contractors if they’ll be the ones to obtain the permits and inspections for the project. Remember, the best contractor you can hire isn’t only knowledgeable about permits, but they should also be willing to obtain them for you.

3. What’s the expected timeline for this project?

 construction worker and contractor client shaking hands with team builder in renovation site

Ask your contractors about the expected timeline for the project. Having a clear idea of when the contractors will start and complete your project is important, especially if you have a specific deadline in mind, such as when you’re selling your house in a few weeks and need the newly renovated kitchen ready beforehand.

The contractor’s project timeline will give you an idea of when they’ll start and end specific tasks. At the same time, you can also discuss and make changes in case their timeline affects your schedule.

4. How much do house renovations cost?

If you’re wondering how much house renovation costs, it depends on several factors such as the size of the project, its complexity, the required equipment, the number of workers needed, and the other expenses. In Australia, a home renovation typically costs between AUD$40,000 to AUD$300,000.

Thus, before the project begins, ask your contractors about the estimated cost so they can give you a quotation and give you more time to set and prepare your budget.

Once you know how much the renovation project costs, ask them a follow-up question about the payment schedule. Never pay the full cost upfront before the project starts—a good contractor also shouldn’t ask you to. After settling the renovation costs, discuss the payment terms before the construction begins.

5. How will you deal with the clutter every after workday?

Construction Debris

Your residential renovation contractors shouldn’t only be good at construction. They should also know how to deal with mess and clutter brought by their work. Keeping your house clean and organized is essential, especially if only a portion of your house is getting renovated and you and your family are not moving out of the house. So, ask them how they’ll deal with the clutter or if they have an end-of-day clean-up routine.

Additionally, you may ask them other additional questions related to their clean-up routine like:

  • Where will you store your tools and materials?
  • Where and how will you dispose of hazardous trashes?
  • How will you ensure the floors and other areas are free from stray items (e.g., nails)?

Remember, cleaning up and organizing the work site is part of your contractors’ responsibility during the ongoing renovation.

6. How will we deal with the additional charges?

Even with the most accurate estimated renovation costs, there’s a chance that additional charges will be incurred. After all, home improvement projects can be unpredictable sometimes, especially with the unpredictable changes in the prices of materials.

It’s helpful to know how your contractors will deal with the additional charges in case this happens. It’s also critical to remind them that as much as possible, they shouldn’t go over your budget unless they have your approval.

Key Takeaway

While you have this list of questions for your renovation contractors, they’ll also have a series of questions for you that will give them a clear picture of your expectations involving the renovation project.

Good and healthy communication between homeowners and contractors is developed when both parties are open with their questions and concerns. So, to guarantee the success of your renovation project, don’t forget to raise these questions with your contractors before the work begins.


  1. “How Do Construction And Contractor Licenses And Permits Work?”, Source:
  2. “Home Improvements That Require Permits”, Source:
  3. “Renovating A House: All Of The Hidden Costs”, Source: