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10 Questions to Ask Before
You Hire a Remodeling Contractor

A key phase in selecting a remodeling firm is one in which you obtain answers to several basic questions. Their contents, as outlined below, are designed to help you formulate a general picture of the overall makeup and processes employed by the company. As you filter through the information provided, always keep in mind that the design, construction and end result of your project will, in large part, depend on the contractor you choose. Be sure to select someone who is experienced, organized and enthusiastic about their work. Look for a professional who understands what it will take to complete your project, and one who presents the necessary credentials for your particular remodel. The following basic inquiries will help you build a solid foundation from which you can refine your final selection.

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1. “How long have you been in business?”
2. “Can you provide me with references?”
3. “Who will be at the site and how will it be managed”
4. “Will there be an on-site meeting before construction begins?”
5. “What are the liability limits of your insurance coverage?”
6. “Can I see a sample schedule? Will I be able to view my production schedule on-line?”
7. “How do you handle change orders?”
8. “Are there any legal judgments against your company?”
9. “Have you been in business under a different name?”
10. “Can you tell me about your warranty?”

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Edward Kaplan is an engineer that has been remodeling homes in the Greater Tulsa area for more than thirty-five years.

The award winning Buckingham Group offers “concept to completion” residential design/build remodeling with one source responsibility for the Tulsa Metropolitan area.

“How long have you been in the remodeling business?”

The experience of the contractor is essential on both small and large jobs. Ask the contractor what prompted his entry into the business and how long he has been remodeling homes. Try to assess the contractor’s level of enthusiasm for his work and determine whether the company offers both design and construction services.

The Buckingham Group

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You can review references and watch actual video references on our website:; or, if you prefer, call the Buckingham Group office at:

“Can you provide references?”

Ask to speak to former clients with similar projects to your own. Make sure the contractor’s references are from recent projects. See if the contractor will provide you with referral sources above and beyond his client base such as tradesmen and product vendors . Call several references and ask them about how the entire process was carried out, from design through application of the final dab of paint.

The Buckingham Group

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On every BG job project, there is a dedicated project manager with the knowledge and authority to direct crew activities and address client concerns during the course of construction, Mr. Kaplan, owner of The Buckingham Group, makes frequent visits to the job sites. He is available 24/7 for consultation on all critical job related matters. Through all job phases, our project managers monitor progress and evaluate the quality of work within the framework of our Quality Control Program.

“Who will be at the site and how will it be supervised?”

t’s important to know how the contractor plans on handling site supervision of both its own staff and that of subcontractors. The project supervisor is the person you will be interacting with most often during your remodel. Make sure he or she is enthusiastic, deferential and qualified. Determine the number of jobs your project supervisor will be handling concurrently.

The Buckingham Group

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Estimating & Design Phase
All subcontractors and our estimating team visit the site during the estimating and Design Phases and Construction Phase.

Pre-construction Phase
Prior to the start of construction, the logistics of the job are discussed with the Owner, including but not limited to the following:

• Introduction to the construction crew
• Discussion of any client concerns
• Finalization of project logistics
• Pre-construction job site inspection by   Owner & Project Manager

“Will there be an on-site meeting before construction begins?”

All projects should begin with visits by subcontractors during the estimating phase followed by pre-construction visits to familiarize everyone with the project. Ask the potential contractor if they conduct these meetings, and if they cover the concerns of all involved parties. At a minimum, the meeting topics should include site preparation, communications, job changes, safety procedures, living arrangements, and cleanup procedures.

The Buckingham Group

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Insurance coverages include:
• Workers Compensation
• General Liability
• Property Damage
• General Umbrella

Details concerning coverages, in relationship to specific projects, will be made available to every BG client as well as involved associates, suppliers and subcontractors.

“What are the liability limits of your insurance coverage?”

Ask your remodeling contractor for copies of their insurance certificates. Find out what their liability limits are, and if they’ve had any claims in the past. It’s important to protect your interests, and a reputable contractor will easily be able to provide the answers. In all cases, the liability limits should match the size and scope of your project. Get all
insurance information in writing.

The Buckingham Group

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Our scheduling is done using the Builder Trend Construction Management System. It is the key communications tool for the entire project.

• Provides complete schedule of project   for constant client review
• Indicates dates for critical selections of   materials by Owner
• Contains document files with   specifications drawings and installation   instructions
• Allows change orders to be reviewed and   approved on-line

“Can I see a sample schedule? Will I be able to view my production schedule on-line?”

Ask to see a schedule from a current project. Is the schedule understandable, and are payments tied to the schedule for accountability? A company should be able to promptly provide a sample schedule. Tightly managed scheduling is required for efficiency and clear communication.

The Buckingham Group

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Change Orders are posted in written format and can be reviewed online in BuilderTrend®. This web-based construction management system is a key communication tool available to all Buckingham Group clients.

“How do you handle change orders?”

The process of remodeling often reveals unforeseen challenges within existing structures. Determine how your contractor will handle these challenges. You may also request changes during the construction process. Ask how these kinds of changes will be handled, and make sure that all change orders are put into writing before the work takes place.

The Buckingham Group

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BG is a 100% litigation free company.

Are there any legal judgments against your company?”

Judgments are filed when a client or vendor takes a company to court. Judgments should give you reason for pause and further analysis. Ask the remodeling contractor upfront and follow up with research on the web.

The Buckingham Group

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The same name for more than thirty-nine years. Here today. Here tomorrow.

“Have you been in business under a different name?”

People sometimes change business names after tax issues, a business failure or a lawsuit. Others change names for innocent reasons like marketing. Ask why the name change, and find out what the previous company name was.

The Buckingham Group

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Client Satisfaction Program

Leading three year warranty with scheduled follow up by office staff every six months for three years

An alphabetized notebook with product manuals for all operating equipment created for Owner

Home Owner satisfaction survey emailed to every client

Can you tell me about your warranty?”

Ask references how quickly the contractor responded to warranty issues after the project was completed. It can be a potentially serious situation if you can’t get a contractor to come back, in a timely fashion, to fix a problem. Protect your interests with research, awareness and knowledge. The time to ask these important questions will be before you sign a contract.

The Buckingham Group

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The Buckingham Group is an award-winning, design-build firm specializing in home remodeling and historic renovations in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area. From beginning to end, we provide beautiful design, conscientious construction, and caring management that makes your project an investment in excellence.

If you would like to learn more about how the Buckingham Group can transform your home, please click here to link to our website, “”.

About The Buckingham Group

If you are ready to get started, here is how you can reach us:

Let’s discuss updating your home.
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