08 Jun Contractor Questions
Whether it’s for a full home remodel or build, hiring a contractor is big business. You’re going to want to request multiple bids from multiple companies, and you’re going to want to sit with each company to discuss their plans in detail. To get ensure you’re hiring a contractor and getting his best work, try asking him these questions beforehand.
Can you itemize your bid?
Most contractors will give you one, bottom-line price for the whole job. You won’t see a breakdown of each individual part. You can ask for this, though, by requesting an itemization of the project on the bid. This way, you can see how much the bathroom will cost versus the kitchen, or the pool versus the driveway. If you’re on a budget and you begin to hit it early on in the project, you can look at that itemized list and eliminate what’s least important to you. After all, you can always call your contractor at a later date to re-bid and finish the whole project.
Is this bid an estimate or a fixed price?
These two prices can end up being monumentally different. If you get an estimate and then receive a proposal for work that’s $5,000 more than what you were anticipating based on the original bid, you might end up with some sticker shock. Request a realistic bid, or something close to a fixed price. This way, you’ll expect the price tag you receive from the contractor.
How long have you been doing business in town?
You probably want to hire someone who knows the area, or at least someone who’s been doing business here for awhile. This guy is someone who has a solid reputation and a list of testimonials you can count on, or he may even be someone you heard about via word of mouth. Be sure to ask this question up front, or even visit their website if they have one.
Who are your main suppliers?
If they use local suppliers, then you can contact them and ask around a bit about how they work, what their job times are, and even what types of supplies they like to use for their different projects. This seems nosy, but in reality you’ll want to know as much as you possibly can before hiring someone to do major work on your home.
Can I meet the job foreman?
The job foreman is going to be at your site pretty much every day your project is on the docket. See if you can meet him or her for coffee, or even ask if you can visit them at a job site. It’s helpful to get to know them if you can.