When it comes to choosing a general contractor for your home improvement projects, it’s important to find one that you can work with over the history of your home — not just during one project. So you’ll want to choose a contractor that you work well with. How can you figure this out? Well, there are a few questions we think you should ask.
Eight Questions To Ask Your Residential Contractor
Here is a list of the eight questions you should ask a residential contractor.
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have General Liability Insurance?
- Have you worked in this area?
- What is your lead time?
- Will you be working on my project full time?
- Who will I connect with during the project?
- How do you bill homeowners?
- How will the project be left each day?
Why Do These Questions Matter?
Asking a contractor how long they have been in business is a good way to weed out the fly-by-night contractors. Though rare, they do exist. However, just because a contractor has been in business for a year doesn’t mean they aren’t experienced. The culture of construction — and most trade work in general — is family-centric. Children learn the trade from their parents, apprentices learn from journeymen, and the cycle over generations produces people who are deeply ingrained in construction. It’s trademarked by personal pride, honor, and responsibility.
General liability insurance is important for a contractor to hold in case property is damaged while they are on the project — your home. It’s okay to ask to see the policy.
Asking for references from your local area tells you that the general contractor understands the homes in and around your neighborhood and town. Most likely, they have similar circumstances, grading, and age.
Questions Specific To Your Project
Asking your contractor specific questions about the project is a good way to decide if they will be a good fit for you. Everyone has different communication styles and levels of comfort. That’s totally okay.
It’s good to ask how long the lead time is for the project and when can they begin? When they do begin, what will be the working hours, and will they be working on your project full time or here and there? Depending upon your own schedule, you might prefer construction to occur only a few days a week.
Who will be your point person during the course of the project is another good question as well as having the billing procedure explained in detail. Many general contractors bill with progress billing. Meaning, at the end of the month, they will bill by trade and percentage complete. If they bill another way, ensure that’s mentioned upfront. And be sure to ask about the deposit, too.
Most contractors clean up the jobsite every day because a clean jobsite is a safe jobsite. But if you’re occupying your home during the renovation, you may like to know when the last call is so to speak. Will they close the job up at 2:00 in the afternoon, for example? Coordinating schedules is much easier when the upfront conversation is mutual.
Get Your Estimate Today!
We’d hope that you’d ask us the same questions and we’re happy to provide the answers to you. When you’re ready, let’s schedule an appointment and talk about your project.