14 May Questions to Ask Your Contractor
Hiring a contractor for any kind of remodel or home build can be a daunting task. If you’re new to the area, it can feel like you need to rely on the Internet to make your decision. Luckily, there are reviews you can rely on, and there is a simple set of questions you can ask contractors to get an idea of who you want to hire when the time comes.
How long have you been in this area?
When you visit the contractor’s website, you’ll see how long they’ve been in business. More important, though, is how long they’ve been in the area. The owner of the business may be from the area, but you could end up working with a lead contractor who is from out of state. It’s helpful to work with someone who has local knowledge; they know the weather and land, and they also know the best materials for your build.
Am I located in the regular area you service?
If you live in Naples but the company is located in Cape Coral, it may not makes sense to hire them. Much of what you end up paying for will be their travel expenses for hauling materials. Try to hire someone who is within a 10-mile radius of your build site, or who is at least in the same city as you are. They will have a working knowledge of your area so you don’t need to worry about anyone getting lost, and they more than likely will have worked somewhere near your site.
Is this a project you specialize in?
You wouldn’t hire a shower door specialist to re-pave your back porch! Make sure you’re calling someone who is an expert in your project. This includes all the paperwork, permitting, and hiring of outside contractors if necessary.
Is my budget realistic?
If your budget is around $10,000 for your project, then you need to be up-front with your contractor. He will tell you right away if that’s a realistic amount. If additional costs pop up along the way, a good contractor will contact you right away to tell you and keep you in the loop. Sometimes the budget will be broken because of unforeseen circumstances, but a really good contractor can help you keep costs at a reasonable amount.
What is the timeline for this type of project?
There are some circumstances that contractors simply can’t work around, such as extreme weather or serious accidents at other job sites. However, it is still a good idea to ask your contractor what a realistic timeline could look like, and when you can anticipate your job being done by.