Key things to Ask a Contractor Before Remodeling
For many of us, our home is likely the biggest investment we’ll make in our lives. When it comes to trusting someone to take it apart and put it back together, you want to know you’ve got a professional you can trust. Before you get started on that new and exciting home improvement project, consider these questions to ask any prospective contractors you may be looking to hire.
Before you get into the details of your program, save yourself a potential headache by vetting the contractor first. You can ask how long they’ve been in the business and if they specialize in anything specific. You should definitely ask to see their license and proof of insurance. If you’re paying someone under the table, even unknowingly, you could be liable for any potential injuries. You could also find yourself low on options if the job isn’t done properly.
Set General Expectations
Oftentimes a failure to communicate can lead to inconveniences and resentment. After all, you’re inviting someone to disrupt your home and lifestyle while they do their job. For the best chances of success, ask questions about how they prefer to work so you know what to expect. You should ask about their project completion timeline (then add a little extra, just for your own peace of mind). You should also ask what hours they typically work, how many days per week they will be there, and when you may not have access to areas of the house or appliances. If you have any times where their work might disrupt you, now is a good time to make sure that won’t impede their ability to complete the project.
Nobody loves talking money, but it’s even worse to argue over it. Make sure you get estimates on the project and also ask what their compensation schedule typically looks like. It’s not advisable to pay the full price of the project upfront, but it may be equally unrealistic to expect to pay it all at the end. Make sure you talk hard numbers, but also get details on if you’ll be paying on a schedule or as certain stages of the project are completed. By getting the tough questions out of the way early on, you’re less likely to run into misunderstandings later.
There are a variety of questions you can ask that will really depend on the specific project. How will they handle end-of-day cleaning? What should you expect if there are additional expenses? Are there times of the day when you need to be out of the house, or in the house? Where will tools be stored if they are left at the house long-term? If a disagreement comes up, how do you resolve them? This may sound tough, but in business, things happen. It’s good to feel like you’re on the same team as you march toward a solution.
A reputable contractor will be glad to answer any of these questions and will probably even be relieved you’re doing your part to ensure a pleasant process for everyone. It’s an even better sign if they have questions for you, which shows they are equally committed to make sure you’re satisfied and love the new look of your home!