When you pick a contractor to remodel or renovate or construct your home, you’re trusting that the company can help you bring your vision for your new space to life, understand what you are trying to convey, and handle your project to make sure the outcome is perfect and as per your desired budget.
A poor fit between a homeowner and a contractor can lead to miscommunication, unsatisfied work, delays, change orders and a lot of confusion.
So, what questions should homeowners ask a contractor?
There are key attributes that a homeowner should focus on when selecting a contractor to hire, which can result in the successful execution of a project. Sticking to a contracting company that answers these questions and checks them off will help you quickly thin the herd.
We at Green Bay Remodeling suggest you ask the following questions to your future contractor:
1. Who will take care of the necessary permits?
The homeowner needs to understand the potential problems and negative ramifications that can occur if required city permits are just ignored or erroneously pulled. The permit process is in place to protect the residents while maintaining an attractive and safe community overall.
Here are some of the things that you should know about construction permits, according to The Times Herald.
All municipalities have different requirements, but typically all require building, plumbing, electric, and heating-a/c permits for specific projects.
Depending on their ordinances, some municipalities require special permits (insulation, fireplace, final grade, re-roofing, space heaters, decks, etc.).
Some permits are required by the county (septic systems, wells, certain driveway approach modifications, etc.).
All permits have time limits.
Permit fee amounts vary from municipality to municipality.
Your contractor should know what kind of permits you need and how to get them and be willing to pull them for you.
2. Who do I talk to if problems come up during construction?
When working on a construction project, it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. And it may be a mistake or event that is beyond anyone's control. (If you're waiting to have the outside of your home painted, and it rains for two weeks, then a delay is inevitable!) Short-term setbacks will not throw an experienced contractor, and the project's timeline should have enough time built to accommodate typical issues.
Hiring a contractor that gives you a dedicated project manager who gives you time updates will help you set clear expectations and feel secure. You need to have a designated point of contact, but you also need to know the best way to reach that person and at what times the project manager will respond to you.
3. How experienced are you with a project like this?
Companies with experience have created systems and control measures to ensure their work is on time, on budget, and of the highest quality. An experienced contractor brings years of experience handling clients, projects, workers, and other operations.
As a homeowner, you need to do your research ahead of time on any contractor you're thinking of working with to ensure that the company has handled a project like yours before. Check out your future contractor’s work profile or make a call to book the initial appointment and ask about previous experiences with a project like yours.
If you find anything that makes you worry, ask about it. Ultimately, contractors prefer that you voice your concerns, so they have an opportunity to address them rather than take them out of the running.
4. Can you walk me through all the stages of the project?
As a homeowner, you need to ask the contractor to walk you through all the project's significant stages. The contractor should discuss the project with you in detail and be prepared with a plan that gives you a clear timeline of the project. You need to have a clear picture of when the company will start and complete your project and be aware of any situations that might affect that planned schedule.
Here are a few additional questions that will further clarify your projected timeframe:
Are there any other projects you're working on now that could affect our schedule?
What are some things that could impact this job?
How will the necessary changes to our timeline be addressed?
5. Is the license holder involved in my project?
Cities, states, and even counties have different requirements on whether contractors must obtain a license or an alternative credential. As a homeowner, you'll want to make sure that yours has gone through all of the necessary channels to obtain any required certifications specific to their field of expertise — for example, you wouldn't want to hire a builder whose license is in carpentry. Having a business license alone is not enough, as it allows individuals to operate a business but doesn't mean that they are licensed or credentialed contractors.
Check-in with the company you hire to handle the project to make sure that the contractor is licensed and is involved in your project.
When it comes to choosing a contracting company, it’s important to get these five questions answered. Are you looking to remodel your existing space or build a new space in 2020?
You have questions about choosing your future contractor. We have answers. Get in touch with us to know how Green Bay Remodeling can help you make your dream project a success.