By the time you’ve made the decision to remodel your home, you’ve probably already given plenty of thought to what you want changed. You’ll have considered multiple ways to improve your space and spent time looking at design magazines and websites. While you’ve likely narrowed down a list of must-haves, we bet there are dozens of other ideas you’re still mulling over. And for good reason: A remodel is a big undertaking.
So why would you hire a contractor without the same level consideration? Sure, choosing a contractor might not be as fun as envisioning a brand-new look for your home, but it’s just as important—if not more so. Fortunately, asking the right questions makes all the difference. We share our recommendations below.
Questions to Ask Your Contractor
Are you licensed and can you provide general liability and workers’ comp insurance certificates?
It’s always best to start with the basics. If the answer to either of these questions is no, it’s time to move on. You can check by going to the Department of Construction Affairs website: Enter their contractor license number to confirm they have an active license and up-to-date work’s compensation insurance.
How many similar projects have you done?
Gauging a contractor’s experience is always a good idea, but it’s even better when he can prove that he’s successfully completed projects comparables to yours. Ask for samples of the work, and request references to get personal insight into the process. At Valley Home Builders, we take pride in our extensive experience. We’re always eager to share our previous projects and encourage potential clients to ask for examples.
How does the payment plan work?
Invoicing procedures vary among contractors. Understanding the process upfront helps you avoid payment snafus. Our team uses your project’s major milestones to establish a clear payment system that avoids unnecessary surprises later on. We send an invoice after we complete a major task that passes city inspection, so our clients know we’re meeting expectations every step of the way.
Who will supervise work on the property?
You wouldn’t leave your kids at school without knowing the teacher, and you shouldn’t leave your home without knowing who’s in charge in your absence. An experienced contractor can tell you who will oversee daily progress as well as who will be working on your property. Valley Home Builders will assign a dedicated and experienced Construction Project Manager to your project. Your assigned Project Manager will be your main contact person for anything related to your project.
What steps do you take to maintain a safe worksite?
Safety can’t be overstated. Your contractor should be dedicated to maintaining a safe environment and should adhere to all workplace safety standards.
How do you protect my property?
A safe worksite applies not just to people but also to your property. You’ll sleep better at night knowing what measures your contractor has undertaken to keep your home safe from harm. The only thing getting demolished should be the rooms undergoing renovations.
How will you communicate with me?
Homeowners should always know how their project is progressing and whether there have been any unforeseen complications. This requires near-constant communication with your build team. Ask your contractor to describe the communication policy, including who will be your main point of contact. Determine in advance how frequently and through what means this individual will reach out to you. At Valley Home Builders, we offer progress reports or in-person meetings with our Project Managers weekly, if not daily, and clients can access an online portal to follow every step and milestone in real time.
If any unexpected changes arise, how will we decide on a new course of action?
Even with the best planning, unexpected complications arise sometimes. The important thing is knowing any issue will be handled by your contractor quickly and efficiently. You should trust your contractor enough to know they’ll have a solution for any problem.
Do you foresee any potential challenges with the timeline?
You’ll want to know upfront, or as soon as possible, if your contractor anticipates any delays with the projected timeline. Your contractor should set reasonable expectations and explain what reasons could impact the timing of the project’s completion.
What are the work days like?
It’s important to understand how your contractor will execute the day-to-day work required at your property. You should ask when workers plan to start and end each day, and who will be in charge of locking up in the evenings. It’s also a good idea to ask about storage of tools and materials.
What if something breaks or gets damaged after the project is complete?
The possibility of any damage to your brand-new home or space is upsetting, but life happens and not every mishap can be avoided. Working with a contractor that provides warranties might help to give you peace of mind. That’s why Valley Home Builders offers the option for one-year craftsmanship and manufacturers’ warranties.
What haven’t I asked you that I should know?
The best contractors have your back. They should know what questions you’ll ask before you do and be happy to provide as much information as possible before your project begins. This is their job, after all, so don’t be afraid to speak up whenever something comes up that you don’t understand.