Seven questions to ask your remodeling contractor before the project starts

Seven questions to ask your remodeling contractor before the project starts

There are few things as stressful as a home remodel, especially when it’s a fairly large project that will require multiple contractors with different specialties coming together to do the work. In these situations, it’s always best to have a general remodeling contractor who will oversee the entire project from start to finish and coordinate everybody’s schedules to make sure everything goes according to plans. It’s a major task and the success of the remodel will depend on the quality of the person you hire so it’s crucial you can trust him/her. Here are seven questions you’ll want to ask your remodeling contractor before work begins.

Are you licensed and insured?

Most areas require contractors to be licensed and insured. Never feel embarrassed to ask a contractor to see proof of license and insurance. Any reputable contractor will have no objection to supplying proof. If they can’t or seem unwilling, look elsewhere. This protects you by ensuring the work is done up to code, the necessary permits are pulled, and any damage to your property is covered.

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Never enter into an open-ended agreement with a contractor. You want a specific, detailed proposal that outlines every aspect of the project from an estimated timeline and completion date to a list of all materials and costs. The more detailed this proposal the better. Turn away any contractor who seems unwilling to do this for you.

Who are the subcontractors you’ll bring in?

Usually the general contractor will have his/her own people to bring in for various aspects of the project whether it’s architects, plumbers, electricians, flooring experts, etc… Ask for a list of subcontractors that would be brought in for this remodel and vet them yourself to make sure you’re comfortable with the general contractor’s selections.

Do you have any input?

A good contractor will provide input, probably without being asked. But if you ask for their input and the contractor seems in a hurry or perfectly happy to just go along with whatever you say, no questions asked, you may want to get a different general contractor.

Do you have shopping discounts?

Many contractors get a 10% trade discount on appliances and other merchandise relating to their trade and they will offer this discount to you as a courtesy. Some may even be willing to go and pick up appliances and deliver them to your home at no extra cost so don’t be afraid to ask.

How often will we check in about the progress?

If you’re planning on living elsewhere during the remodeling project, it’s a good idea to plan out in advance how involved you’ll be when it comes to checking in on progress. It’s best if you can stop by regularly because it will keep everyone on schedule better.

What’s the best way to communicate?

Good communication is key to the success of any major remodeling project. Think of the general contractor as the go-between who can relay messages from you to any of the subcontractors and vice versa. It’s a good idea to establish from the beginning how you’ll stay in contact whether it’s daily or week meetings face-to-face on site, phone conversations, or email.

Source: Architectural Digest




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