We’ve discussed at length the many best practices you should use when hiring remodeling contractors Cleveland Ohio, from checking their references extensively to making sure they can provide the necessary certification.

But the more experiences we hear from our clients, the more we learn about what questions they should have asked up front before signing any contracts or agreements. So today we’re looking at five questions you should always ask your remodeling contractor.

Would you itemize your bid?

Often remodeling contractors are happy to just give you a single, bottom-line price for your planned project, essentially keeping you in the dark as to where the different costs are. By asking for an itemized bid, you can see exactly what they are charging and where those charges are coming from to eliminate any future surprises.

Is your bid estimate an estimate or a fixed price?

It’s not uncommon for some contractors to treat their bids as estimates, which means that once the project is complete, you can find yourself facing a bill that is several times higher than the initial estimate. So try to make your contractor give you as fixed a price as possibly by eliminating any unknowns and getting the precise project specs.

How long have you been doing business in this city?

While it might seem crucially obvious to ask how long a contractor has been in business, it does matter how long they have been in business in your city or town. The longer they’ve been there means the more contacts, references, and subcontractors they know and can use, while those who have only been in the city for a couple of years might not be able to provide nearly as good of a deal.

Who are your main suppliers?

It’s important to check with a contractor’s references in terms of previous projects he or she has done, but it also helps to ask them for their supplier information, who you can then contact and get a real feel for the contractor’s professional reputation.

Can I meet the job foreman?

Many remodeling contractors don’t actually get their hands dirty and instead hire a network of subcontractors. Thus, it’s crucial that you meet the person in charge of these subcontractors and make sure the job he or she is doing is going well. Without investigating every facet of a contractor’s operation, there will always be a possibility for oversight, so make sure you know everyone they’ve hired.