Written by sitecontrol

17 Questions to Ask Your Basement Contractor

The home construction and renovation industry has its share of bad and untrustworthy vendors. An inexperienced contractor might ignore structural or water issues and forge ahead with a remodeling project before thoroughly evaluating the situation, or bringing in a foundation specialist if needed. If they avoid answering you directly about their process for pulling permits, it may be time to switch to a different vendor.

The variety of ways homeowners can be taken advantage of by our competitors and other types of home contractors makes us sad.

So, as a contractor who truly cares about homeowners and the quality of our service, we made this list of some helpful questions to ask contractors you are considering for finishing your basement.


What Areas Do You Serve?

This is an important question to get out of the way. If they don’t serve your area, there’s no reason to move forward. Don’t let your phone call go to waste – you can always ask for a referral if they happen to know of another reputable business in your area.

Basements & Bars proudly serves the St. Louis metro area, including St. Charles, Wentzville, and Columbia IL. If you have specific questions about your area, please contact us.


How Long Have You Been in Business?

A company that has only been in business for a short time may not have the necessary skills or labor to do a good job. Their processes may not be in place to guarantee you a great remodeling experience.

A company that has been around for a long time has most likely proven itself over and over again in order to stay in business. For example, Basements and Bars has been finishing basements for St. Louis homeowners for over two decades.


Is Your Company a Full Service or Specialty Firm?

A company with many offerings may not be the best at any particular project and may miss some important details or have an inconsistent workflow. Look at the service offerings and image galleries on their website, social media posts, and customer reviews to see the types of projects they typically take on.

Having team members who specialize in finished basements and foundations like Mark and Troy from Basements & Bars is critical to a successful project. They have the experience and knowledge to handle any challenges in your basement during the construction process.


Why is Your Price Different From the Other Quotes I Received?

The prices of some contractors may be inflated. But before jumping to conclusions, higher prices can be a good thing. You can ask them if they are including extra services or premium quality materials. You will often find that quality is the big difference between a higher bid and a lower one.

If a quote seems too low, it can be too good to be true. Cheaper isn’t always better, especially with contracting and construction work. Ask if the contractor plans to hire subcontractors to make sure they aren’t passing the labor off to cheaper, less skilled workers. Also, make sure to verify the following:

  • Quality of the materials
  • Estimated work hours
  • Anything important missing from the quote:
    • Waterproofing
    • Plumbing
    • Electric
    • HVAC
    • Flooring
    • Egress Window
    • Appliances
    • Inspections etc.

Are You Licensed?

Protect yourself as a homeowner by making sure that the basement finishing contractor is properly licensed and meets the minimum requirements held by the state of Missouri.


Are You Insured?

Make sure that you are not liable for any injuries or damages that occur during the project. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, verify that they are current, and make sure that the insurance amount is high enough to cover the worst-case scenario.


How Big Is Your Team?

Find out a company’s size by asking how many owners, employees, or contractors it has. Is the person you are speaking with also the one who will do the work? Does the team have the resources in order to complete the project on time? Will you always have access to the person in charge of your basement remodel with any questions you have?


Will You Hire Subcontractors?

Will the entire project be completed by your own team or will some of the work be subcontracted? The purpose of this question is to find out who will be in your home, how the project will be managed, and assurances of the quality of the work.


Do You Offer Financing?

If you’re unable to pay cash for your basement remodel, a loan can be the right way to go. Some contractors offer financing to help you budget your project and start construction right away. Basements & Bars offers financing through HFS Financial.


Will You Be Pulling the Permits?

Your city will require permits for any major remodeling projects and make sure that the construction in your home is properly completed according to local and state building codes. A failure to pull permits will adversely affect your home value and ability to sell your home. During each stage of the project, building Inspectors will come to check on the work and verify everything is done properly. The company should pull the permits on the homeowner’s behalf as they will then be the responsible party for the work.


What Makes You the Best Basement Contractors Near Me?

The two owners, Mark and Troy were born and raised in St. Louis and have a combined total of 55 years of construction experience. Every member of the team understands the intricacies of finishing a basement. Our team has knowledge and experience in heating and cooling, plumbing, framing, and multiple other assets that are often overlooked in basement finishing.


How Much Should I Expect to Pay to Finish my Basement?

That is not an easy answer; design requirements and material choices are a big factor in the overall cost of finishing or remodeling a basement. Typically, most people should expect to pay around 10%-15% of their home’s value.


My Foundation Has a Small Crack. Do I Need to Fix This Before We Begin Finishing the Basement?

Yes, it is a good idea to have any cracks in your foundation repaired so they do not spread. Some cracks are considered to be perfectly normal, while other cracks may be indicators of structural issues. Your contractor can talk to you about this process.


Do I Need to Waterproof My Basement First?

Yes, waterproofing your basement is an important part of your project and should be discussed during your consultation. Your contractor should fix all potential water issues; otherwise, you could be forced to tear out parts of your basement in the future.


Can I Call References?

The basement contractor should be able to provide you with references to check with as well as examples of their work. Check out our gallery to see photos of real basement finishing and remodeling projects we’ve completed in the St. Louis region.


How Long Will the Project Take?

Your contractor should be able to give you a timeline and set accurate expectations of what will be completed and when. It is your home, and you deserve to know who is going to be in your home and know the schedule of when the workers will be there.


What Is Your Basement Finishing & Remodeling Process / How Do We Get Started?

Your contractor should be able to give you a timeline and set accurate expectations of what will be completed and when. It is your home, and you deserve to know who is going to be in your home and know the schedule of when the workers will be there.

We have a two-step process to get your project started:

  1. We have a phone conversation about what you are looking for and what your ideas are, and then we come out and look at the space and have a design consultation.
  2. From here the Basements & Bars team prepares a plan to bring your dream basement to life, and we will come out to your home a second time to go over plans, iron out details, and look over the pricing of the project.

With our thorough process, we strive to take out the hidden surprises of your basement finishing project. Request a free quote or call (314)-550-9160.