14 Questions To Ask Your Prospective Contractor
1. What is your background and how much experience do you have in this kind of work?
Every project is different. It is important to know that your potential contractor can complete the work to what you require with the experience required.
2. Are you licensed?
It is important for your contractor to be able to cover the costs with any associated accidents while working on the project. General liability insurance protects your home and your risk.
3. Do you carry workers compensation insurance?
Workers compensation insurance protects you from liability in the event a contractor is injured the property.
4. Are you comfortable with providing a list of past clients?
It is good to hear from real references to ensure the contractor is credible.
5. What is a realistic timeline for this project?
Ask your contractor to be as specific as possible. When you start a project, it typically interferes with your day to day life and it’s important to know how much of your life will be effective. A good contractor will give you a realistic timeline and a great contractor will give you a preliminary schedule.
6. Will you take care of building permits?
When it comes to permits and inspections, the process can put some wait time on your project. If the contractor takes care of these things for you, the project runs more smoothly. You should know if you will have to take on the city yourself for necessary permits and what those wait times may do to your project. A good contractor should take care of these things.
7. Have you done a project like ours?
Knowing the contractor has experience with similar projects is important in knowing how yours will be handled.
8. What services do you offer?
Many contractors have multiple service areas that they can include in your project. Using one source opposed to multiple companies is typically better on your budget. The contractor also controls the scheduling making sure timelines run smooths with any added on services opposed to having to work with other companies.
9. Will we get a written contract?
If the answer is no, then move on. Always start your project with a contract that sets out an agreement between you and the contractor that details the scope of work. The contract will protect both sides and showcase the responsibilities of both parties.
10. What warranty do you offer?
Professional contractors provide you with a written warranty for all projects. It is important to know how long your warranty is offered for in case you have any issues upon completed.
11. How would you deal with our project?
Having the contractor explain the steps they would take in your project not only gives you a better idea of what to expect but also shows you what areas they are going to take care of your project in, their overall approach and schedules.
12. What is the payment schedule?
Often this is written in your contract. If it is not, it is good to know what your payment schedule will be prior to starting the job so you can ensure there are no surprises to you. Clear communication and understanding on this is important for both parties.
13. What steps will you take to protect my property?
Your property is important and a good contractor will take all steps necessary to protect you. This can be done through protective coverings on items during a job, crew members wearing shoe covers, locked doors, etc.
14. How will additional charges be dealt with?
Most projects come with many change orders due to the clients request on things. It is important to know how these changes orders will be dealt with prior to the project so you understand how they will be kept track of.