Entrepreneurs are networked with their suppliers. You can get information about the reliability and quality level of your contractor by talking to the owners of: If a contractor says they can`t offer a fixed price because there are too many unknowns about the job, try to eliminate the unknowns. For example, ask them to open a wall or examine a crawl space. It is the contractor you choose who makes – or breaks – your renovation project. When you find the right contractor for your job, you determine the quality and punctuality of the work, as well as the amount of emotional and financial stress you have to deal with. It`s rare for a general contractor to have all the necessary types of workers under one roof, especially if you`re building a home from scratch. They often have to outsource the work to plumbers, painters, electricians, and other specialists. Most contractors use commercial companies to some extent, so it`s important to understand how this affects your project. Make sure you know exactly who is working on your home and when, and if the contractor will be there to monitor. Why you want to hear it: The contractor you hire is the project manager, so they should be on site every day to monitor progress and make sure the work is done according to the plan you agreed to at the beginning of the project. If a contractor answers «no» to this question, you need to ask. Once you`ve found a contractor who can solve all the problems we`ve discussed so far, it`s time to talk about the price.
Why you want to hear it: An entrepreneur (or other professional) can offer you the moon but provide a pebble; And what can you do about it if you don`t have the written agreement? Not much. Ask for a written contract that includes the points listed above. Ask the contractor to sign and date the contract and keep a copy on file. Also, make sure you understand everything in the contract. Reed says, «Consumers need to understand and accept all contractual terms so they have a clear view of who should do what, when – and what happens when the terms are violated.» This is by far one of the most difficult questions to ask an entrepreneur. In addition, you should never pay cash, which is impossible to track and is often requested by dubious contractors. Checks, loan financing, and credit cards tend to be much safer options. And make sure there is an understanding of any dirty work that needs to take place during work. For example, if sludge and grinding are required on drywall, there is no way around the fact that a significant amount of dust is generated. So be sure to confirm with your contractor the steps that have been taken to avoid creating more chaos than necessary. For example, will they seal vents and cover doors to prevent dust from entering the house? Tom Silva, general contractor at This Old House, explains how homeowners should evaluate a potential contractor before hiring them to work on a home.
Here are his top 8 pro tips to help you find a contractor from start to finish. Now that you`ve narrowed down your list, put your searches in place. Call past customers to find out how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But Tom says you shouldn`t just rely on results. Most importantly, you visit an ongoing construction site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the site clean and safe? Are workers polite and careful with the owner`s property? Tip: Listen to how potential entrepreneurs answer your questions. Difficulties in communicating now mean difficulties in communicating later at work. Communicating with your contractor about the details of your project can be quite difficult. Are you sure you want Puce countertops? Should the roof be so sloping? With so much detail, remember that you will have a person in or around your home for at least a few weeks (and maybe months). And for them, your home is their place of work.
So don`t hesitate to ask them what kind of colleague they are. It is important to confirm if the entrepreneur has up-to-date and relevant experience, so get a list of references who have had similar projects to yours and follow them. Don`t be afraid to make calls and visits. Ask other customers about their experience with the contractor and their satisfaction with the finished product. You may obtain further third-party confirmations from state licensing authorities, trade associations, state and local courts, insurance providers, suppliers, better business bureaus, and municipal departments. Why you want to hear it: you wouldn`t buy a car without some sort of warranty against defects; You also shouldn`t hire a contractor who can`t guarantee the job. (In fact, Patio Enclosures offers a shortened lifetime warranty on all verandas!) Contractors can guard against two types of problems: Second, your general contractor should also purchase workers` compensation insurance. This protects you from any liability if someone is injured while working on your property.
Why you want to hear it: «Part of the general contractor`s stated price is for project management and the client should expect this service,» says LaForge. If the contractor is not on site every day, you need to ask. Many entrepreneurs don`t actually swing the hammers. They spend their days offering new jobs and managing their various jobs and workers. This makes the foreman – the one who works on your project every day – the most important member of your team. Will the website be cleaned up at the end of each day? Or is it your responsibility to clean up at the end of the project? And what do you mean by «clean»? Make sure you agree on the process to avoid conflicts with your contractor. In addition to questionable treatment, there are legitimate risks associated with hiring a contractor without a license, whether knowingly or accidentally. Check out the infographic below for things to watch out for: Make sure your general contractor is familiar with your local building codes and the approval process in your community. It`s important to find a credible contractor who has recently worked in your area. Everyone deserves a break, but you don`t want your home to be a training ground for inexperienced entrepreneurs. Some general contractors may not be familiar with your area and the specific codes of your property. For example, if you live in an area populated by a large number of historic homes, there may be restrictions on the type of renovations you are allowed to do.