When employing a contractor for any task, it is essential to analyze whether they are skilled and dependable carefully. This is crucial, mainly when you want house renovation tasks accomplished because it is expensive to redo poor work. In this article, we have listed several critical questions to ask before hiring a contractor, including:
1. Are You Pulling the Permit?
If a permit is necessary to accomplish your job, the contractor should get it. A permit guarantees that a building inspector goes through and approves the projects; thus, ensuring the building codes are met. The person whose name appears on the permit takes complete responsibility for ensuring the task is discharged correctly and up to standard. That is why the contractor should get the permit, and not you.
If you are a property owner and the contractor encourages you to pull the permit, which should act as a red flag. Because there are many things legally that could land you in trouble, it could have repercussions that you might not know about.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
A contractor who has been operating in your area will have a reputation that can assist you in decision-making. Nonetheless, this is not a crucial question as some new contractors are highly skilled, and some long-term contractors fall short in service delivery. But it offers a sneak preview of what to anticipate.
3. Do You Have Insurance?
This question is necessary. And it is not just a matter of getting a simple yes response; you have to be detailed in this query. The contractor you hire should have both workmen’s compensation and comprehensive liability insurance. The former protects you and the workers while discharging their duties within your compound.
Comprehensive business liability insurance protects the property if it gets destroyed, and the contractor should have a minimum of a million-dollar limit. Ensure that you contact the insurance carrier to guarantee that the contractor’s claim is valid.
4. What is the Timetable?
The anticipated occurs during property modification. Delays occur. But you need a tentative start date and an approximate finish date, which you can ask the contractor to stick to. If you require a task completed by a given date, you need to inform the contractor upfront so they can let you know whether it is achievable or not.
5. Are You Licensed?
States set their prerequisites here. Generally, contractors have to ace an exam to get a license from their state board. Contractors are also expected to take several continuing credits every year. These credits are like enrolling for classes, either virtually or physically, to stay informed on the current building codes and practices.
6. Got References?
The most excellent way to know about someone’s work is by engaging the people they have worked with before. Never be shy of calling and asking about work quality and project timelines.
Property owners are encouraged to get several bids and not automatically go with the cheapest. They should never mistake expense for quality. However, there are cases where the lowest bid is suitable for the project. Hence, it is necessary to ask many questions, so you feel good about your decision.
Some of the questions to ask references include:
- Did they deliver what they promised on time?
- How hard or easy was it to sustain communications with the head contractor?
- How clean and safe do they leave a site?
- Lastly, ask how easy or difficult it is to get a hold of the contractor?
7. How Do You Charge?
On top of their estimates, get to know the payment schedule. Most contractors request for a deposit to set aside their time and then ask for a percentage before the task starts so they can purchase materials. Usually, the outstanding balance is cleared in stages, with the last amount distributed once you are pleased with the job done.
8. What Kind of Materials Do you Use?
When your home is getting remodeled, you want the best materials going into it. Always be on the lookout for contractors who do not specify the materials they want to use. Hence, if you intend to repair your roof, then go for the best roofer in Charlottesville, VA, or any other professionals in your area who are committed to using high-quality materials.
Once you ask your questions, request a written contract outlining both party responsibilities and your anticipations. A contract ensures you have a fruitful working relationship.