It’s important to take the time to make a list of questions to ask all the contractors that you’re considering hiring for your home remodeling or building project.
Depending upon the scope and size of your project, choose the questions that are relevant and important to you in order to make an informed decision. Remember, you’re the boss and your goal is to find the best match and candidate for your remodeling or building project.
The following should be part of your research and questions you must ask of your contractors no matter the size of your project. This is not a complete list but it does contain important queries that will help you make an informed decision that most folks don’t ask.
1. Are they licensed and bonded to work in your state?* (You will verify this with your states’ regulatory agency that oversees licensing)
2. Do they have experience with jobs such as yours, and can they provide you with a list of references of those jobs? Have them go into detail about their experience.
3. Do they carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance (required by the
majority of States if they have employees) and what type of liability
insurance do they have for themselves? Ask for copies of their insurance coverage to verify. This is important; don’t let your Homeowners Insurance become their claim for coverage.
4. Do they have their own crew for some of the work, or do they rely solely on a stable of subcontractors? You’ll want to the names of the subs who they will use for your project.
5. How many jobs do you currently have going? How many workers or employees are used to manage those jobs? Ask for the addresses of the projects to make sure it’s their work and to see how the site looks. Organized, disorganized, busy or vacant?
6. Will they (the General Contractor) be working or simply supervising? If supervising, how much time will they be on-site each day?
7. Describe your approach to problem solving and resolving complaints regarding workers, materials, workmanship as well as any complaints with the homeowner.
Again, these are just a sampling of the types of questions you should ask and for more guidelines on hiring and working with contractors and avoiding the contractor from hell, check out my Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Women.
* Not all states require licensing of general contractors. Some are licensed at the city or county level so be sure to do your research.