Questions to ask a potential contractor for home renovations

Written By: Ivan Dimitrijevic
Sunday, December 29, 2013

Doing home renovations can definitely be a tiresome venture, which requires a lot of time, effort and, certainly, money. This is the reason why many homeowners decide that it is much easier to just hire someone to do this for them, while they are safely away from all the commotion. That is when they hire a contractor. However, what many of them do not realize is that you have to approach the contractor selection carefully. The future of your home is at stake - it would be unreasonable to offer the renovation job to a contractor that you have heard of in the newspaper for the first time.

In order to make a choice, you have to ask all the candidates some questions and make your decision in accordance with the answers. To help you, I have selected a few questions that have allowed me to make a decision when I was renovating my house.

How have you been conducting business in the past?

This question is aimed on finding out more about the history of the contractor. You will have to dig deep to find all the information that you need, but it will be worth it, because it will show you whether you are putting your house into trusting hands. You should be interested not only in the jobs that the contractor has taken in the past and their completion, successful or unsuccessful, but also whether they are licensed to work in your state, are the payments to the employers regular, do they pay workers compensations, etc. Another thing that you would be wise to check is whether someone has filed a lawsuit or pressed legal charges against the contractor, because that will give you an idea how reputable they are.

Is there a time frame?

If you ask any of the contractors to provide you with the time frame when they will start and when they think everything will be finished, they should be able to provide it for you, without much effort. Even though no one can provide you with definite, 100 accurate time of completion, they should be able to give you a rough estimate. Also, be sure to ask how long the cleaning up will take, as that is also one of the contractors obligations and should be done quickly and efficiently. Once you have selected one of them, you should make sure that everything is going according to plan by visiting the house twice a week and asking about the progress. You can, also, be constantly present there and watch it unfold everyday if you have nothing more important to do.

How much money will this cost me?

This one is fairly obvious, I must say. Normally, you will be interested in how much it all costs, because that is the primary concern of every home owner. The reason why I have put this here is to tell you that you need to ask each and every one of them this same question. You might get the same offers from a few of them, but you will also see that there are some who are much pricier, as well as those who are much cheaper than the others. Do not dismiss these. Instead, see why they have set such prices and go through their suggestions. It might happen that those who ask for more money have seen some structural weaknesses that others have not and they require more money for fixing those.

Do you follow and observe all the >

This one might seem like it is none of your concern. Why would you care whether the workers will be properly protected? Well, because it is possible that, should some of the workers get injured while working on your house, you might be deemed guilty for it and you might be held financially responsible. I do not want to mention that having someone injured on your property can be seriously disturbing. Broker or severed limbs, deep cuts and similar injuries can be quite gruesome and the image could stick with you for the rest of your life. So, make sure that the contractor that you hire has a quality management plan that will ensure the safety of the workers. Also, make sure that this plan is being conducted on site and that it is not there just for show.

Asking these questions is an absolute must for any homeowner who would like to hire someone else to do the renovations on their home. You cannot let just about anyone to redo your home, it has to be someone that you know you can trust. Just make sure that you get all the answers and choose wisely and accordingly.





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