Questions to ask a contractor

Top Questions To Ask a Contractor: Part Two

If you’re in the process of recruiting a contracting company to do your next home renovation project, preparation is of the utmost importance. In part one of this series, we covered many of the pre-construction questions about contracts, timelines, and inspections.

In the second part, we will be covering questions to ask about while work is ongoing, from staffing to clean up and warranty information.

When interviewing your contractor candidates, here are 5 additional questions to be sure to ask to help you make your decision:

How will they staff your job?

First of all, it’s important to understand the relationship that a contractor has with their employees. We suggest asking if the company uses their own employees or if they hire subcontractors to do their jobs.

If the company brings in subcontractors rather than their own dedicated staff, it’s important to ask how they qualify them for each job. You’re hiring a company based off their credentials and experience, so if someone that will be on the job day in and day out, they should also meet those criteria.

Additionally, as far as staff is concerned, ask about the supervisor for the job. A few questions we suggest asking are:

  1. Will someone be dedicated as the supervisor for this project?
  2. If so, what is their name?
  3. What will they be overseeing on a daily basis?
  4. How often do they check on the progress of the job?

How will the project cleanup be handled?

The project isn’t done once the final coat of paint is on and the finishing touches for the design are done. It’s done once cleanup is completed.

We suggest getting an understanding of how often cleanup will happen throughout the project and if they handle all of the haul-off. The last thing that you want to be stuck with is a pile of waste sitting in your backyard without a plan of how to get rid of it.

Additionally, during both the active project schedule and cleanup can come damage to property from the moving of large and/or heavy materials. Ask your contractor what steps they take to protect and prevent damage to your property such as dust control, floor protection, weather protection, and security for the job site.

What is the warranty for both the service and materials?

When you buy a car or computer, you’re always sure to ask about the warranty, and your home should be no different. Explicitly ask your contractor if there is a warranty for the service and for the materials, what it entails, and how long it remains in effect.

If you find a wall is starting to crack one year down the road, or something begins to break that hasn’t gone through wear and tear, they should have a policy in place to inspect the damage and determine whether it falls into the terms of your warranty.  

Will there be a written contract provided?

A contract that is written is key because it not only holds the contractor accountable but also helps you to get a better understanding of your agreement with the company. Keep in mind to ask them not only what’s included, but what type of contract is used (lump sum, cost-plus, time and materials, etc.), plus how they will handle any changes throughout the project.

When asking what’s included, clarify if the following will be covered in your contract:

  • Complete Scope of Work
  • Schedule
  • List of Subcontractors

What will the communication look like throughout the process of the project?

Having a clear understanding of what’s happening during your home renovation project is the most important thing to give you peace of mind, so it’s important not to make any assumptions before you make a decision.

Ask your contractor what communication looks like during your project, and be open with them about how often you would like to receive updates and how. If you’d like a daily status call, text updates, a weekly walkthrough of the project, or anything along those lines, bring that up with them. Setting expectations up front, like everything else we recommend speaking about, will help to make sure both you and the contractor are on the same page.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Contractor Before you Hire One

Download our guide to help you ask the right questions before hiring a contractor for your home remodeling project.

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