Home renovations can be a little intimidating but the rewards are many. The contractor you choose is one of the most important parts of your project but before you get started, here are the things to ask a contractor.
1. Do you use a schedule when running my project?
Always check with your contractor about what days and times they plan to be on site. While most contractors typically have a five-day work week during daytime hours, every contractor is different so don’t just assume you know the schedule without asking first. This will help you plan your own schedule.
2. Will you take care of pulling all required permits?
Your contractor is the one who will pull any permits needed for your project but there are cases where a contractor may not do so. While you can file for the permit retroactively, it will take time and money and if the permit is not pulled at all, you can be facing fines. Make sure that this is something that the contractor will take care of so you don’t have to worry.
Take a look at another article we wrote, which is a step by step guide to building permits.
3. Is there enough parking available for your crew?
Depending on your individual area, parking is something to discuss with your contractor. For instance, some residential areas have limited parking space and you may have neighbors that are sensitive to being crowded by work trucks.
4. How do I know my house will stay secure during the project?
Your security is important no matter who is at your home. If you have an alarm system, call the company to see if you can get a temporary code just for the contractor if you are having inside work done. You will also need to discuss with your contractor about having a key to your property and who all will have access to that key.
5. How will you protect my landscaping during the project?
Your existing landscaping and yard area needs to be discussed with your contractor. Let your contractor know about any special areas that are off-limits from dumpsters, trash, equipment, and even workers.
6. Do you need to know where all the utility shutoffs are located?
This is something that is often overlooked but if you’re not home when the contractor is doing work, it’s important for him to know where these are. Your power, gas, and water are things that he will need to know the location of and it is also imperative to let the contractor know about things that cannot lose power such as aquariums or freezers.
7. Will there be any disturbance to my neighborhood?
If you have particularly troublesome neighbors then let your contractor know. While this isn’t an issue in all cases, at least inform him of anything he should know about the surrounding area such as businesses that might complain or neighbors who will be affected by the noise.
8. How will you ensure the safety of my pet?
Your pets are a part of the family so be sure that your contractor is aware of them. Dogs can get out by gates that are left open, cats may escape through open doors, and it is also a safety issue since your pets may not be comfortable around strangers. If your pets have to remain in the home, secure them properly and let the contractor know that they are there.
9. How do you communicate effectively during the project?
Communication is key with any project and especially those in your home. Find out how and when you can reach the contractor with any questions or concerns.
Another article we wrote explains the 5 Tips for Successful Communication with Your Contractor.
10. What should I budget for my project?
Of course your budget is one of the most important factors in your project so be sure to go over every single detail with your contractor. Look at all of the fine print and be sure to raise any concerns you have and discuss them in depth; you don’t want to find out later about hidden costs or extras. This article outlines Budget Tips, take a look for more information. If you’re ready to remodel your bathroom, kitchen, basement, or add additions to your home, contact us so we can help you get started.