What contractors do can be very different from one another and so before you start imagining you know the answers think again! Here is a simple list of some of the important questions that you should ask potential candidates of contractors before choosing the best.
10. How long do you think the project will take?
Although you would always want to let your contractor know that he is held to a certain timeline, you have to ask this question. The estimates he gives you will depend on how he does justify the timelines he proposes because there are certain contractors who can actually give you a justifiable reason as to why it might take longer than you think. In other words, don’t always choose the expert who gives you the shortest timelines.
9. What kind of insurance policies do you have?
Established contractors or subcontractors should carry basic insurance covers like the public liability and property damage. You ought to go an extra mile to confirm whether the contractor indeed has the insurance cover with his insurance company and of course whether it’ll be valid during the time of handling of your project. Insurance is very vital when it comes to construction projects lest you risk encountering very huge losses.
8. How big is your company’s crew?
You should seek to know the number of people who will be working on your home renovation project. In fact, you have to verify that the plumbers and electricians that come along together with the contractor are licensed in offering such services in your locality. The contractor should be clear on whether the crew consists of sub-contractors or employees. Settle for employees because he’ll have more control on how they work.
7. Will you be on site during the project?
Although most people tend to assume that the contractors that they interview will be on site every day, it’s actually not the case. You can imagine how uncomfortable it can feel having a group of people that you didn’t interview working on your project in the absence of the person who knows what you are exactly looking for!
6. Who is responsible for receiving the permits?
Remember, you stand a risk of incurring substantial risk if you hire poor workmanship without permits. Hiring a contractor who will be responsible for getting the permits will obviously save you some time and money. This is a perfect way of skipping candidates and settling for the best when shopping for a contractor.
5. Who are some of your past clients?
Even if you are on a very busy schedule, you ought to find time to at least talk to and probably check out some of the previous works of your shortlisted candidates. If you really want nothing but the best for your house then it’s worth the struggle.
4. What is not included in the quotation?
This is a very important question because it helps skip rogue contractors who simply low ball the quote only to come up with extra hidden charges once you have signed the contract. Although, it might be possible to get some new things coming up during a renovation, an experienced contractor who has analyzed your renovation needs extensively should be at a position to foresee most of them.
3. Do you belong to any professional contractor organizations?
There are various professional organizations and trade unions in various localities across the country. So, at least your contractor should belong to one or two of them. Remember, these organizations only register licensed and insured members who also comply with certain set standards of operation. This is a sure-fire-way of getting the right expert.
2. What is your work schedule on this project?
The contractors should asses your project and give you an estimate of the amount of man-hours they might spend on your work. He should also tell you the days of the week within which his crew will be able to be on site.
1. How should I contact you?
The contractor should let you know whether it’s email, text or calling that is the best form of contacting him anytime you want to contact him about the project. Communication breakdown might lead to a poorly executed project.