Building a home is a big investment. Knowing the right questions to ask a contractor before hiring can make all the difference in the outcome of your project
Renovating your home is a financial investment and a project that can be challenging to navigate. Knowing what to expect before the project starts will help you better prepare for the process. Finding the right people for the job is crucial for a positive experience and the best results. Meet with several contractors, get quotes, and before you decide on the best team for the job - you’ll need to know the right questions to ask.
Do you have a contractor’s license and insurance?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of contractors that are not licensed and insured.
You should have as much information as possible about the qualifications of your contractor before making such a big investment as your home. A contractor without the proper license or insurance can put you at great risk financially!
A licensed contractor is not only qualified for the job, but covers all the costs associated with any accidents that may occur on your site, and have worker’s compensation to protect you from expenses due to injuries.
What is a realistic timeline for this project?
When it comes to renovations, expect the unexpected. Problems might arise, but an experienced contractor should be able to provide a timeline for the project. Ask your contractor to be as specific as possible. A contractor who doesn’t plan can easily slip into a mismanaged workflow that can take weeks and cost you a lot of money.
What is your role in the project?
Every contractor and builder operates differently. Ask your contractor how often he will be on the site. Ask your General Contractor what the daily site management looks like if he’s not on-site and if he will be hiring sub-contractors for the project. Be sure to know exactly who’s working on your home and when and whether the contractor will be there to supervise. For the project to run smoothly, there must be sufficient organization.
Can you provide a list of past client referrals?
Feel free to ask for your contractor’s referrals, reviews, or testimonials. The work of a good contractor will speak for itself. You can also talk to their vendors and subcontractors to better understand their work style.
What is their typical budget per square foot?
Your contractor probably has worked on a project like yours before, and have a good idea of their budget per square foot. While it is subject to change with finish changes, getting your team’s estimate ahead of time will give you control over how much you spend.
Will you clean up?
The definition of clean isn’t going to be the same for everyone, so be specific. Ask about the company’s cleanup policy, and make sure it is spelled out in the contract.
It may be possible for the contractor to suggest ways to reduce the amount of mess and impact on your home. Ask how to prevent the mess and dirt from spreading into living spaces.