9 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Starting an Exterior Renovation

Enough bland siding. Down with dated brickwork and sagging porches. You’re ready to express your personal style and feel proud of your home from the moment you arrive. It is time to stand out. When you’re in the market for beautiful home exterior remodeling results, it’s time to start shopping for a contractor.

At SmardBuild, we provide luxury exterior remodels throughout the Chicago suburbs. Our detailed and skilled work has built a stellar reputation and the industry agrees. Our expert crews are the only licensed James Hardie Preferred Remodeler in the Chicago area. Our familiarity with this and other premium materials set us apart and positions us to deliver the most coveted exterior remodels in the area.

9 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Starting an Exterior Renovation

Nine Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Remodeling

When you’re ready to interview a prospective contractor, prepare a list of questions to ask. Ask questions about your particular project to assess the fit for your job. Arm yourself with information such as the industry terms for the parts of your house you are referencing so that your contractor understands you are professional and can quickly understand the project details. 

Don’t forget to ask questions about the construction process. Here are a few of the questions our clients have impressed us with in the past and some we wish they would ask more often:

1. Are you licensed for this type of work? What types of insurance do you carry?

A reputable contractor will readily provide you with updated license and insurance information. 

2. How many building permits have you obtained in my area over the last two years?

Understanding how many permits your contractor pulls will give you an idea of the volume of work your contractor completes and how established and experienced they are in your area. 

3. Can you provide a list of references? 

Talking to people who have been in your situation can be even more helpful than a contractor interview. A former client’s perspective can be invaluable in evaluating your prospective contractor’s work. They may have feedback, advice, and praise that your contractor would not know to mention.

4. What warranties do you offer?

Understanding the warranties for the work and materials you have planned can help you make good choices and set your budget accordingly.

5. When and how do you use subcontractors? Tell me about your relationship with them.

Every contractor uses subcontractors a little bit differently based on their crew and their skills. Sometimes technical or specialized needs make a subcontractor the best candidate for a task. Many contractors consistently partner with area subcontracting experts. A contractor with positive and established relationships within their professional community is a good sign. 

6. When do you have time for my project?

Many contractors book out several months in advance. Many clients are anxious to get started. If you have a deadline like a graduation party or outdoor wedding by which your project must be completed, be sure that your contractor is aware so they can advise you about their ability to meet those needs.

7. What is the expected timeline for this project?

Many people are surprised when they hear about the time it takes to reside a house or build a patio. Discuss the specifics of your project and get an estimate of your timeline to help set your expectations for what’s to come.

8. How do you handle unexpected challenges?

 In exterior remodeling, everyone has to expect the unexpected because we work outside. The weather requires flexibility. Construction projects are always met with unforeseen challenges, and this era of interrupted supply chains presents more surprises than ever before. Everyone feels at ease in the hands of a professional. The hallmark of a professional is what they do when faced with a problem. Ensure that you hire a contractor who can deliver excellent work, no matter what happens.

9. What are the steps in your process?

Experienced exterior remodelers have a step-by-step process. Check out our exterior remodeling process for an example of a time-tested remodeling formula.

Consider the Intangibles

How did you feel when you were interviewing your exterior home contractor? You deserve friendly, knowledgeable service and thorough, thoughtful answers to your questions. Can you see yourself interacting with this company regularly? Are you looking forward to welcoming them to your home? Do you feel able to problem solve and plan together? Warm and responsive business relationships make a complete difference in every aspect of your remodeling experience.

Chicago’s Best Exterior Renovators

At SmardBuild, we pride ourselves on our professionalism and craftsmanship. Our exterior remodeling results throughout the Chicago area speak for themselves. We can’t wait to add you to our list of satisfied customers. Give us a call or reach out online today if you’re interested in partnering with us to get the most beautiful exterior on your block.

Download Our Exterior Remodeling Guide

Here's what customers say...

The high-level craftsmanship and personalized customer experience we deliver are what keep our customers happy and telling their friends about us. We can't wait to help you with your remodeling project. 
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Mark and his team did a terrific job and I could not be more pleased with the final work! Throughout whole siding installation process I was kept well informed about the progress and what will be next steps in the process. I'm living in Arlington Heights and anyone who is looking for great siding contractor can stop by my house and check their amazing work. I also plan on hiring them again for another siding project. That would be my parent's home. 🙂

Jessica D.
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I researched over 30 companies, and had 5 come out to my house to give me estimates to install new vinyl siding. I ended up going with Smardbuild, and I am very happy that I did. They showed up on time, and finished the entire job within a week. And the quality of the work is the best part. They are perfectionists! I have never seen attention to detail like this. They even went above and beyond the job requirements. They installed aluminum flashing around my sliding glass door to make it look nicer, and that was not even part of the job. And to top it off, they installed 2 new wall lanterns that I bought at Home Depot. 

Tim H.
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We used Mark and his Smardbuild team to replace our roof, soffits, fascia, siding, upstairs windows, gutters and front door. All work performed is top notch. We went with Hardie soffits and fascia since we had prior issues with carpenter bees drilling holes in our old, wooden soffits. In my opinion Smardbuild is the best with Hardie products. Everything looks great. It took us a while to finally settle on a color for the siding and Smardbuild was quite patient with our process. After having issues with contractors in the past, it was refreshing to work with such a professional team that actually cares about the quality of their work. Thanks Smardbuild.

Peter P.

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