5 Questions You Must Ask Your Contractor

Your contractor can make or break your home renovation project, that’s why choosing the right contractor is so important.  You want the project to be done right, on time and at a price you both agreed on.  To make sure that you are trusting your home to the right contractor here are 5 questions to ask your contractor before you go ahead with your renovation project.

1. Please breakdown your quote

Most contractors will give you a final price for the job without breaking down how that money is going to be spent. While that my work for most homeowners you really should know how your money is being spent along with what’s included in the job.  It will breakdown the costs of things like, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, flooring along with drywall and painting.  This makes it easier to compare prices with a couple of different contractors.

2. Is this an estimate or the final price?

Lots of contractors give estimates without letting the client know that the final price can end up being a lot higher.  The last thing you want is a case of sticker shock, so ask ahead of time if this is an estimate or the actual price.  There are some contractors that tell you final prices are impossible to give because you never know what can happen when demolition starts.  For instance you lift up the flooring and then find termite damage. Neither of you can predict that, so make sure you have contingencies in place if any extra work is needed.

3. How long have you been in business?

A contractor who has been serving their clientele for 5 years or more has spent time building his business.  They have made connections with other tradespeople and suppliers.  This makes is easier to check references and trust that they will complete the job.  They likely have a long list of happy customers who love their work or some very angry customers leaving scathing reviews.  If they have been in business that long it will be easy for you to find out.

4. Who are your suppliers?

You can judge the reliability of a contractor by his relationship with his suppliers.  Does he do business with local businesses?  Does he pay his bills on time?  Does he have a professional reputation or a long list of unhappy customers and really unhappy suppliers?  Where a contractor gets his materials shouldn’t be some deeply held secret and they should have no problem telling you.  You also want to make sure that your contractor will be using quality materials and not a cheaper option.

5. Can you introduce me to the foreman that will be running the project?

For the most part your general contractor is more of a manager and doesn’t spend much time swinging a hammer.  It is the foreman that is onsite every day and makes sure that everybody shows up on time and gets the job done.  If you are doing a small renovation then you want to see if your contractor will be the one there every day.  Regardless you want a point of contact that you can discuss any issues with.