If you have been thinking about remodeling your home, you have probably been watching all of the most popular design shows on television. By now you have even compiled a sizable stack of home design magazines and have even clipped out all of the designs you feel will fit into your space. Home remodeling projects can be exciting, however they can also be challenging, and super frustrating if you and your contractor are not on the same page. Often times people will just hire a contractor to come in and do a job, but they really don’t delve into the specifics or the logistics of the job. When it comes to remodeling your home, every little detail is important and there are five key questions you need to ask before hiring a contractor to come in to complete your project.
The last thing you should do is trust an inexperienced contractor with your home improvement project. When interviewing potential contractors, one of the first things you need to ask is how long they have been in business. Contractors who have been in business a fair number of years have worked through their fair share of hiccups, and have developed methods and systems to keep them within budget and also allow them to complete projects in a timely manner. You should remember that there is a huge difference between how long someone has worked as a contractor and how long they have been the owner of a contracting business. The contractor who has owned their business for a number of years is likely to be more conscientious in regards to deadlines and coordination schedules.
The next line of questioning you should pose to a potential contractor is if they hold a contractor’s license, if they are bonded and if they are insured. Don’t just assume that just because a contractor has a license to operate a business that they are a licensed contractor. That may or may not be the case as municipalities, counties and states often have different requirements which determine whether or not a contractor’s license is issued or an alternative credential. You want to be certain that your contractor is certified to work in whatever field of expertise they advertise they specialize in. In addition, you need to make sure your contractor is bonded and insured. If something should go terribly wrong with your project, you need to know that your contractor has insurance to cover any additional repairs.
More times than not, when people hire a contractor, they fail to ask if there will be a dedicated team of workers completing their project. Knowing this information is very important, because it has great bearing on whether or not your project will be completed on time. Most contracting companies work more than one job at a time, so you need to make sure that they will work diligently and be consistent when it comes to working on and completing your project. In addition to asking your potential contractor if there will be a team of workers dedicated to your project, you should also ask who the project manager will be, if subcontractors are used, how are they vetted, and how often they will personally oversee the project.
No matter where you live, municipalities and counties have ordinances and codes which must be satisfied before beginning most home improvement projects. You need to ask your contractor if they will be responsible for scheduling inspections and obtaining the permits for the project. A reputable and experienced contractor will know exactly the type of permits to get for your project, and will have no problems getting them. Depending on the size of the city you live in, obtaining the necessary permits and scheduling inspections can take some time, which could impact the date of completion. An experienced contractor will be able to judge the progress of the project and determine when to request an inspection time to avoid delays in the completion of the project.
A project that is not logistically structured can turn into a real nightmare. Besides asking your contractor when the project will be completed, you also need to find out what time you should expect them to begin and end their workday. If you are someone who works from home, you may want to find out what the noise level will be. Larger projects which span periods longer than a day will require the storage of tools. You should also ask your contractor if the tools and other byproducts of the project will be left in your home, or if they will be removed on as daily basis. This is valuable information to obtain especially if you have small children and pets in your home.