If you are planning to remodel your home, it is important to find the best contractor for the job. Therefore, before you hire any company or person it is best to ask certain questions when meeting with potential contractors.
1. Do you have references? Ask if you can speak with some of his former clients. Ask to see pictures of his past remodels. Most legitimate contractors love to show off their previous work.
2. Are you licensed, bonded and insured? If the answer is no or seems ambiguous, keep looking. Otherwise, request proof of insurance. If you check with the State licensing bureau, they should be able to tell you what type of license and insurance is required for your area.
3. Who will actually do the work? Does the company have its own crew or will they be using subcontractors? This is vital because if the contractor does not pay his subcontractors, the subcontractor has a legal right to place a lien against your property until he is paid.
4. What is our timeline? When will the work start? When will it be completed? This information should be in your contract before you sign.
5. How do you handle change orders? There is always the possibility of unforeseen problems. If there is extra work needed to correct surprises, then it should generate a change order which will state what the change will cost and how it will affect the timeline.
6. Will you give progress reports on a daily or weekly basis? How will I reach you after hours? The contractor should have no problem agreeing to this.
7. What about payments? The customary down payment is 10% of the entire job. If your contractor wants more or payment in full, seek out another contractor! You should be able to set it up with your bank to issue progress draws upon receipt of the proper paperwork such as release of liens and photos of completed work.
8. Will you secure the proper permits and inspections? This should be his responsibility. Be sure it is in your contract before you sign.
9. What about the debris generated by the remodel? Be sure there is a clause in your contract that clearly states the contractor will dispose of all remodel debris.
10. What kind of guarantee do you offer? Again, this should be in your contract.
Do not sign a contract if it does not state all of the above clearly.
By Frank LaMark
Tags: Frank LaMark