How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Home Remodeling Project: 4 Simple Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Partner

Home remodeling can be an exciting process, but the intricate planning involved emphasizes the importance of choosing the perfect partner for the journey.  

The Seattle Times says “start early and choose wisely” when hiring a contractor, and we couldn’t agree more. Not every builder is a fit for every project, and finding the right match can take time. 

In this article, we’ll share four simple questions to ask yourself and potential contractors, ensuring your home remodeling project is a resounding success.

1. Do They Have Experience with Similar Projects?

Experience breeds expertise, especially in the realm of home remodeling. When considering whether a contractor is the right fit for your project, focus on their track record with projects similar to yours. Consider the following aspects:

  • Architectural Style: Spend time on their website looking for projects that match your home’s architectural style to ensure a cohesive design. Particularly if you plan on remodeling an older home, you’ll want to look for a contractor that can preserve the aesthetic integrity of your home while seamlessly incorporating modern elements.  
  • Project Type: Ask about projects they’ve done that are similar to yours. Review as many project stories and before and after photos as you can. Inquire about challenges faced during those projects and how the contractor resolved them. Remodeling projects often encounter unexpected obstacles, such as structural issues or design complexities. Adaptable contractors with strong problem-solving skills will quickly devise solutions to overcome challenges, ensuring the project stays on track and meets your expectations. 

Reviewing project stories, portfolios, and client testimonials can offer valuable insights into a contractor’s problem-solving abilities and adaptability. Additionally, talking to previous clients directly can provide firsthand information about the contractor’s performance and client satisfaction levels.

Honest feedback from past clients gives you a comprehensive understanding of the contractor’s work ethic, communication skills, and project outcomes.

Home remodeling project transforms kitchen into bright and open space

2. Do Their Communication Methods Work with Yours?

Clear, consistent, and effective communication is the linchpin of a successful remodeling project, and first understanding your own communication preferences is essential. 

  • Frequency: Do you prefer frequent updates or a more hands-off approach? Do you like general status updates or detailed reports? Do you want a voice in each decision, or do you prefer to let your contractor handle the little things, only bringing you in for major decisions? Asking about the frequency and level of detail in their typical communication standards will help you decide whether you’ll feel confident working with them. 
  • Medium: Are you more comfortable with in-person meetings or email updates? Some clients prefer face-to-face interactions for important discussions, while others appreciate the convenience of digital communication. Finding a contractor who accommodates your preferred communication style enhances collaboration and minimizes misunderstandings. 


Harjo team of professional home remodeling professionals


Home remodeling projects, often spanning many months, require harmonious communication and complementary personalities. Construction inevitably encounters unforeseen challenges, emphasizing the need for a contractor with whom you can communicate comfortably and openly.

Selecting a contractor with a similar communication style to your own will help you feel informed and supported throughout the design and construction processes.

3. Do They Offer All the Home Remodeling Services You Need?

Home remodeling involves various stages, from initial planning and permitting to design and construction. Assess your project’s demands and the contractor’s offerings.

  • Project Complexity: Evaluate the project’s intricacy and choose between a general contractor and a design-build firm. Design-build firms integrate design, architectural, and construction services, streamlining the process for projects involving structural changes or extensive renovations. A general contractor can be ideal for less complex projects. 
  • In-House Services: Ask about their in-house expertise, such as designers, architects, and engineers. Collaboration within the same company promotes cohesion in design and execution, enhancing the overall project outcome. Also inquire about the team structure for your specific project– will you have access to a project manager or superintendent throughout construction? What is their background and expertise?
  • Responsibilities: Clarify your role during the remodeling process. Understanding your responsibilities, whether obtaining permits or coordinating with subcontractors, prevents misunderstandings and ensures a smooth workflow. Understanding a contractor’s expectations of your involvement is essential. If their requirements exceed your capacity, considering a different builder might be necessary.

At Harjo Construction, we handle everything from site surveys to permits, to design, to subcontractor management, and everything in between. We provide both a project manager and superintendent to oversee your project, ensuring smooth communication and professional results. Our experienced team collaborates with you and our trusted local subcontractors to bring your vision to life.

4. Does Their Timeline Align with Yours?

Time is of the essence in any home remodeling project. 

Many homeowners’ primary concern before beginning a remodel is the timeline. Asking specific questions about the contractor’s schedule can help you avoid disappointments later. Before you commit to a contractor, ask about their timeline to determine whether it’s complimentary to your own. 

  • Starting Date: When can they begin work on your project? Are they open to aligning their start date with your schedule?
  • Project Duration: What’s their estimated project completion time? If you have a specific completion deadline or personal event to consider, are they able to accommodate?
  • Contingencies: Are they prepared for unforeseen circumstances that might extend the timeline? Are contingencies built into the initial timeline, or are they added as needed? Are you prepared to adjust your timeline expectations if there are labor shortages, supply chain issues, or material backorders? 
  • Communication: How do they share timelines with their clients, and how do they handle schedule changes? At Harjo, for example, we create an initial project schedule, share the key milestones with you, and update both the schedule and you on a weekly basis. 

Additionally, observe their punctuality and adherence to agendas and schedules during consultations and sales meetings, as these interactions often reflect the company’s overall work ethic and commitment to timelines.

Choosing the right contractor for your home remodeling project can make all the difference in whether you’re happy with the outcome. By asking the right questions and conducting thorough research, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your vision and expectations.

It’s not just about finding a contractor; it’s about finding a partner who understands your vision and can bring it to life. Harjo Construction is not just another contractor; we are your dedicated partner in transforming your home.

Ready to begin your remodeling journey? Talk to our award-winning design-build firm today! Contact us and let’s turn your dreams into reality.