When you set out to do a remodel, addition or other major home renovation, you will need a general contractor to oversee the work that needs to be done. Hiring a general contractor means getting the best person, and while there are many general contractors in your area, you will need to screen them.
Part of that screening process is asking the right questions and getting a sense of their work history and ethics. There are a lot of questions you could ask, but here are some of the essential ones:
What’s your business history?
Asking a contractor’s business history is one of most important steps to finding out more about the work they’ve done, how well they did it and if their past clients were satisfied. If they are unwilling to give you references or talk about their history, it’s a good indication you might look elsewhere.
Some follow-up questions to ask around this question include:
- How many years have you been doing contractor work?
- How many projects have you completed like mine in the last year?
- Do you have a list of references I could call?
- What kind of insurance do you have?
- Are you licensed?
- Do you carry worker’s compensation for your employees?
- Do you have insurance in case something in my home is broken during the remodel or addition?
- Will you sign a “time and materials” contract?
- Do you often finish a project within the allotted time frame?
Who will be at the site and how will it be supervised?
Knowing who will be at your house every day during the renovation is important. You should know who they are, if the contractor will be there and any details about the team working on your home. For example, there might be a construction manager hired, which can cost between $3,200 and $4,400. It will depend on the extent of the project, and if the general contractor isn’t going to be the manager.
Some additional questions to ask:
- Can I meet the job foreman or project manager, if there will be one for my project?
- Will you be using any subcontractors on this project?
- Who will be on the site every day during the project?
- Will you be onsite every day or stopping by, and if the latter, how often?
Can you give me a timeline?
There should be a timeline for the project, so you know what to expect and when. Having a timeline will keep you aware of whether they’re behind or ahead of schedule. It will also let you know when you might need to be out of the house or specific rooms during the renovation.
You should ask the contractor:
- What is our schedule?
- Will this require a permit and who needs to pull them?
- When will you start and finish?
- What will be the start time and finish time every day?
- Will you work seven days a week?
- How will you communicate with me after hours?
- How will I know when I need to make decisions?
- What documents will I receive when the project is complete?
What guarantees can you give me?
Guarantees may or may not be part of the contract you …read more
Via: Coldwell Banker Blog