Ask Your General Contractor These Questions
Knowing the right questions to ask when selecting a general contractor can mean the difference between a job that is completed successfully, on schedule, and within budget, and one that becomes a constant source of tension. Ask the following questions to each of your potential contractors to assist you make the best decision possible:
Are your worker’s compensation, insurance, and licensing all current?
A competent contractor will have no trouble demonstrating that he or she possesses these things and that they are completely functional. To make sure the contractor’s license is valid and current, you need get in touch with the licensing body. Don’t hire a contractor if they can’t give a copy of their license or evidence of general liability insurance. If they don’t follow these guidelines, you can bet they’ll provide subpar work and leave you with no recourse if something goes wrong.
Will you secure the required licenses?
Some homeowners will decide to complete a job themselves in order to save money and time on permits. Unfortunately, some contractors don’t obtain licenses either because doing so can be time- and money-consuming. If a general contractor claims that permits are not required, you should check with your neighborhood’s building code office to make sure. Your local building authority may provide owner-pulled permits in addition to contractor-pulled permits, depending on where you live. However, if the general contractor immediately assigns you the duty of obtaining licenses, take it as a bad omen. In the end, you should be well aware of the justifications behind the suggestions that you pull permits.
Can you submit a detailed bid?
Undoubtedly, the project’s total cost is a crucial figure, but you also need to understand how it was calculated. You can determine how the removal of a particular item will be deducted from the final total if your bid is itemized. An itemized bid also offers you the ability to inquire about and learn more about the pricing of a certain subcontractor or material, as well as the possibility to make changes. No matter how the bid is presented, make sure to enquire as to whether the figures are fixed or just estimates that might alter once the project is finished.
Can you cite any case studies?
Contractors who are qualified and have a history of delighted customers will be more than happy to put you in touch with them. The greatest references are those who have worked on projects comparable to yours, although all reputable recommendations can speak to the general caliber of a contractor’s work. Move on to the next general contractor if they are unable to provide you with credible references.
Which vendors do you often use?
Although it might not seem like a logical question to ask, the response will provide you with another way to evaluate a general contractor’s reputation. Suppliers, from lumber yards to counter-top stores, can let you know if a contractor is simple to work with and pays them promptly for materials and/or labor. If a contractor is reluctant to provide you with this information, much like with references, think there is a terrible reason for it.
How will you safeguard my possessions?
There will almost always be some dust, filth, and mess in or around your property after completing a home renovation or residential remodeling project. Find out how the contractor intends to contain dust and reduce the tracking of dirt into your home before any construction or demolition begins. Ask if moving furniture, decorations, draperies, or other items will be necessary to keep work teams safe.
When will we communicate, and how?
Ask the general contractor how (and how frequently) you may expect to hear from him or her given the variety of avenues there are to communicate. Also learn how to reach the contractor in an emergency beyond business hours. Ask whether weekly in-person meetings at the job site can be arranged for a long-term project so that both of you can remain on top of any difficulties as they come up.
How will you manage requests for changes?
Plan ahead for how unexpected changes will be handled since they frequently arise. Your contractor ought to be more than happy to put modification orders in writing and include concise explanations of how they will affect costs and timetables. Make sure your contract contains wording outlining how change orders will be handled before any work is started.
What paperwork will you deliver once the work is completed?
In your initial contract, general contractors should be willing to specify the documentation they’ll hand you once the task is finished. These could consist of a list of subcontractors, maintenance guidelines for components like counter-tops, copies of inspection reports, lien releases, and user guides for brand-new systems or appliances. Ensure that you will receive all warranty documentation for the products or materials being used. Be aware that some warranties, like those for roofs or windows, call for a contractor to be certified in order for them to be legitimate.
Can your work be guaranteed?
If you’re unhappy with the outcome, a contractor’s verbal guarantee that he’ll stand by his job won’t mean a thing. Demand a formal warranty that outlines exactly what is and isn’t covered, as well as how long it lasts. A good warranty should cover you against subpar construction or flaws and last for at least a year. Contact us for more information.