Hiring the right contractor can be a tough task. There are so many questions that pop into mind when
you are thinking about home renovations, remodels, or building. Things like “where do I start” and “are
these people reliable and trust worthy” come to mind. To lessen the amount questions running through
your mind you should focus on the next ten questions when considering the right contractor for you.
1.) “How long have you been doing business?” – This is a very important question to ask because it
tells you whether or not they are established. Younger contractors probably don’t have as many
reliable sources for work they have already done. Also, they probably won’t have a crew with
much experience and will have fewer “subcontractors and suppliers” that they work with.
2.) Another necessary question to ask is “Do you guarantee your work?”. By asking this you are
finding out the contractors’ “credibility”. A contractor that guarantees their work will provide a
“written warranty”. If they do not guarantee their work and provide a warranty with it, it isprobably be best to pass up on them.
3.) “Could you itemize you bid?” – By asking this you are making sure that there are no “hidden
fees”. Most contractors want to only give the “bottom-line price”. Having the costs broken
down individually will show what the actual costs are. This will help you choose the right
contractor and ensure you are getting quality supplies for you home renovation, remodel, or
4.) Always be sure to ask, “Who will be here every day?”. Knowing who is going to be in your home and what they will be doing that day is crucial for you and your family or employees. You want to know who will be “supervising the subcontractors and who will be opening and locking up at the beginning and end of each day”.
5.) If you are having home or office renovations or remodels done you want to ask, “How will you
protect my property?”. Having renovations or remodels done typically include tearing things
down and bringing things in and out of your home or office. You will want to know if they will be
using protective padding on your floors and around door frames while working to ensure
nothing else gets destroyed during the construction process.
6.) “Are you licensed to work in my location?”. If you live in a state where licensing is required, then
you need to make sure your contractor has the proper licenses to be working on your property.
“A licensed contractor will have the proper insurance and surety bond required by the state.”
Say that you hire an unlicensed contractor and they get hurt on your property. If that happens,
they will come after you to pay medical bills and now you have a lawsuit on your hands. “A
licensed contractor will have the proper insurance and workman’s compensation to cover
themselves and their employees.” Make sure your contractor is licensed.
7.) “Will you obtain all necessary permits?” Obtaining permits is a long drawn out process and adds
costs to the project. Some contractors try to skip out on doing this. This can cause serious
problems for you as the home or business owner. In some cases, they may have to tear down and restart. This will double or triple the amount of time it takes to complete the project. “If a permit is required, make sure the contractor obtains a permit.”
8.) Communication is key in all things we do as people. This is no different when you are working
with a contractor. So, be sure to ask, “How will you communicate with me?”. It is best to agree
on the communication method and to make sure that it is all in some form of writing, whether
that be text or email.
9.) “Is there anything about my project that concerns you?” With any project, there are “unknowns
and uncertainties” that take place. If there are any that are concerning to the contractor, make
sure you address them upfront. That way you won’t be blindsided by anything when something
big comes up.
10.) Lastly, asking “What kind of documentation will I receive after completion” is vital anytime you
have anything done to your home or other property. “End-of-project paperwork like lien
releases or a list of subcontracts and contact information should be clear.” Acquiring these
documents will be extremely useful in the event that they may be needed when selling your
home later down the road.
Asking the right questions can make things move along nicely and also bring peace of mind to you as the
home or business owner. Make sure to ask these questions when hiring your next contractor. If you are
doing a renovation or remodel and need more ideas or have more questions, be sure to read our other
blog called “Maximizing a Minimized Space: Valuable Renovation Ideas for Smaller Homes” and check
back for more information about home renovations.
First General Services Emergency Response Teams are available 24/7 to help you through
the entire repair and restoration process.
Denver Metro 303-646-2162
Colorado Springs 719-635-6789