Finding the right contractor is one of the most important parts of any successful remodel or new home build. Your general contractor is going to be responsible for turning your dream designs into reality, and finding the best fit for the project is not always easy. Here are some essential questions for to ask before signing a contract.
1. Are they licensed and insured?
Contractor requirements can vary by state. In California, anyone who performs work on a project more than $500 is required to have a valid license from the Contractors State License Board. Many unlicensed contractors do not have workers' compensation insurance, meaning that the homeowner will be liable if a worker is injured on the job site. Check with your state and county to learn about the local laws and regulations.
2. What is your experience like?
Ask them about their business to get a better idea of their past projects and how many years they have been in the industry. Have they worked on any projects that were similar to your project? Do they take pride in their work? More years of experience does not always equate to higher quality work, but a proven track record definitely helps.
3. Who will pull permits?
This is another item that can vary by state and city. The contractor should be able to tell you what permits will be needed for your project, and hopefully they are willing to be the one to pull them for you.
4. What is the timeline for completion?
With all of the current COVID related delays and supply chain issues, there can always be unforeseen circumstances that affect the timeline of a project. Even so, your contractor should be able to give a rough time frame of when they think the different phases will be completed. Ask if they are working on other projects that can affect the start or completion date of your project. If they say they can do it in a quick time frame, that is going to be a red flag. Good things take time!
5. What is your role in the project?
Who will be in charge of daily operations? Will they be on-site 9-5 everyday overseeing your project? Who is their team composed of? These questions will give you an idea of their project organization, if they have a full team, and if they will be able to keep things running smoothly and on time.
6. What is your communication like? How are disagreements resolved?
Effective communication is critical for both parties to be on the same page about the project progress and results. Will they provide daily updates? Who is the best person to contact if you discover something has gone wrong on your project? What is their process for settling a dispute?
Ask for client referrals to learn about the contractor's past projects and how their working style is. You can also speak to their vendors and subcontractors to get a better understanding of how they are to work with.
We know that home renovations and new builds can be very stressful. Be sure to look out for any red flags when you're interviewing people. Keep these questions in mind, and good luck with finding the perfect contractor for your project!
Reach out to us on Instagram @naomiewertinteriors if you have any questions or just want to say "hey"!
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