Hiring a contractor is an important step in the home renovations process. A contractor is the person who will look over the entire remodeling project, which is why you should choose someone you can trust. The person is to be trusted not only with your home but also with the job of completing the project according to your specifications.
There is certain information that is required in order to make an informed choice – you will want to find someone you can completely rely on.
Listed below are ten questions you should ask a contractor before you sign a contract. Getting everything out in the open before the project begins will save you from any surprises down the road.
- Do they have any experience in handling home renovations?
Every contracting business needs their first client in order to take off but you do not want to hand over the home renovations to someone who has just entered the market. This is a basic question and it is very necessary to know about the previous projects they have handled and how long have they been in the business.
- Do they have all the necessary licenses and can they provide proof of their insurance?
It is essential that the contractor you hire has insurance that covers accidents or mishaps that might occur during the project. Licensing is an entire separate issue and these are documents that give firms the right to practice in a certain locations.
The contractor you hire should have general liability insurance that protects not only your home from any damage due to their negligence but also protects the employees of the company working on your property. Even if contractor looks like a man you can trust, ask to see the original insurance certificate and check the expiration date printed on it. You can also verify the information from the insurance issuing authority just to be safe.
- Are they insured for worker’s compensation?
Worker’s compensation insurance protects the employer in the event an employee is injured while working on the plant site. Get a contractor with the complete insurance so they do not hold you responsible for paying the medical bills.
- Will they provide a list of their previous clients?
Experts recommend that you should take the liberty to contact previous clients of the contracting business, as you can to get testimonials. You can ask them questions about the level of professionalism and punctuality of the team to get a good idea of the services you can expect.
- When can you expect your home renovation project to be completed? Can a detailed schedule be provided?
You have the right to demand a specific schedule with details of each step in the home renovations process. Unexpected events can delay the process but an experienced contractor should have the ability to give clients a realistic deadline for the project completion.
The schedule however, includes more than just the starting and ending date of the project. The contractor is responsible for preparing a complete schedule with tasks and milestones outlined. This will provide the complete picture and you will know how much of the project is completed at each stage. The schedule also keeps the team in check and helps them check off the items on a checklist. A good contractor prepares a new schedule everyday so that not a single second is wasted in confusion.
You must also keep in mind that it is likely the project will take longer than planned. Ask the contractor beforehand if they have any jobs planned after completion to make sure they are not in a hurry to finish off your home renovation.
- Are they going to provide clean up services as well?
The definition of clean up for a contractor widely varies from that for a home-owner so it is important to agree upon the rules of cleaning up before signing the dotted line. You should also be aware of the amount of dust and dirt that will be enter the house because there is a lot of sand and cement required. Ask them to make preparations for sealing of the portion under construction to limit their exposure.
- What are the terms of payment?
The terms of payment are different for every contracting business. Some will require you to pay the entire cost upfront while others only require a certain percentage of the total cost to get started.
- Do you need to provide the materials?
Contractors often get discounts on raw materials that the personal buyer is not eligible for. Ask the contractor if the material costs are included in the price they quote.
- Does the contract include after sales services as well?
A project does not end as soon as the crew packs up. The contractor has a checklist they consult before the team can sign-off. There should also be some procedures specified for when the client is not completely satisfied with the end-results.
- What will be the preferred mode of communication between you and the contractor?
You will want periodic updates from the contractor about the home renovation process. Select a medium of communication beforehand so they know where they can reach you. Also decide on how often you want to receive updates on the project.