No matter which type of home renovation you’re tackling, choosing a qualified home contractor is an important piece of the puzzle. You’ll ensure a smoother, simpler home renovation process by asking the right questions before hiring a contractor. Below are 11 questions to ask prospective contractors before you hire a contractor to renovate your home.
1. What does a typical workday look like for you?
This type of question will give you a good idea of your contractor’s working hours. Work hours can vary from company to company, so it’s a great question to ask. In addition to this, also find out where you would keep your pets (if you have any), where the contractor can park, and how you can communicate with them best throughout the day.
2. How long is the job anticipated to take?
The sooner you can find out your project timeline (and share your ideal timeline), the better the contractor can plan under the circumstances. Perhaps you have family coming for the holidays or another strict deadline to meet. Giving your contractor dates far in advance will help you determine if they can realistically meet this goal.
3. What’s your plan in the event of a conflict?
This is a great question to help assess the expertise of your potential contractor. With any major renovation project, delays or misunderstandings can pop up unexpectedly. Your contractor has likely had to tackle both before; however, it doesn’t mean that they know how to effectively mitigate them in a prompt, professional way. By asking them how they would handle a conflict upfront, you’ll see if your contractor has a good plan to tackle potential conflicts and make sure they don’t stand in the way of a job well-done.
4. Do you extend a warranty on your work?
Warranties can save you money and give you peace of mind. Many quality contractors offer a warranty on their work and certain materials/installations—make sure to ask for copies of these warranties.
5. What happens if something runs over budget?
Budgets are great to give you a general idea of how much something will cost. However, sometimes unexpected events or other expenses may arise. You’ll want to know how your contractor will move forward in the event something costs more than the budget. This procedure is important to ensure you don’t have an excessively over-budget renovation bill.
6. Do you have worker’s compensation and liability insurance?
Proper insurance is important when contractors are working inside your home. Without proper insurance, you may be liable if anyone is injured. Always ask to see a copy of their insurance certificates before hiring a home contractor.
7. What if I want to change something?
So you’re halfway through your renovation but you decide that you want a different fixture for a room. This is a normal part of renovating, but it can delay your renovation if you don’t handle it swiftly since the contractor will have to order the new materials. Different contractors have different processes for submitting change orders, so it’s good to find out their process for submitting change orders at the outset.
8. What similar renovation projects have you completed?
Asking about expertise and experience is always a great idea. Ask your contractor if they’ve done similar jobs to the job you’re requesting, and ask to see photos if possible.
9. How many people are involved in your team?
Asking this question lets you know who will be coming and going from your property. You’ll know how many people to expect and know if they’ve been properly vetted by your contractor.
10. What licenses or certifications do you hold?
The state licenses many contractors, so asking to see this in advance of hiring is a good way to determine their legitimacy. You may also be able to look up this info online; however, asking your contractor directly is a great way to assess their reliability.
11. How will we communicate throughout the project?
As the homeowner, you’re likely to want to stay up-to-date and informed on the status of your home project. If you are away from home all day, texting or calling may be your preferred method of communicating with your contractor. Your contractor should accommodate your needs. No matter what, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that if problems or questions arise, they are addressed.
Ask these 11 questions to your prospective home contractor today to help prepare and choose a quality and reliable contractor!