10 Things to Ask Your Contractor
Remodeling or building a new home is a big financial and emotional investment. It can also be a big investment of your time if you want to be closely involved in the decision-making. Knowing what to expect before the project gets started will help you better prepare for the process. Here are 10 questions you should always ask your contractor before starting a home remodeling project:
1. What is our schedule? A schedule is more than just a start and end date. Having a schedule that outlines tasks and timing will give you a big-picture view of sequencing and deadlines for things such as tile and counter-tops. It will also give you a benchmark so that you know if things are slipping by a day or two.
2. Who will be here every day? Depending on the size and structure of the company you hire, the answer could vary widely. Many contractors use a lead carpenter system, where a staff member (sometimes called a superintendent) is responsible for day-to-day work on site, and often swings a hammer as well. Ask your contractor direct questions about who will be responsible for opening and locking up, who will supervise subcontractors on site and who to call on a daily basis with any questions.
3. How will you protect my property? This is a conversation best had before demolition, not after you come home and find dust all over the house.There are a number of dust-containment measures that can be taken, and talking about it ahead of time will provide you will a clear idea of how the construction area will be cordoned off from the rest of your home and how you’ll be able to move through your house.
4. How will you communicate with me? With every mode of electronic communication at your fingertips, you may have some ideas about how you would like to receive information about your project. Your contractor likely has specific ways he or she likes to communicate, too — daily emails, cloud-based schedules or maybe just phone calls. Make sure you understand how you will be contacted and receive information. If the contractor’s format doesn’t give you what you think you’ll need, agree on a method and format so that you’re not in remodeling limbo on a daily basis. Weekly meetings at a specific time are an effective way to make sure you see your contractor in person to get your questions answered.
5. What part of my project concerns you?There’s always something unknown about a project, or an area that is most likely to trigger an immediate change order. Odds are, your contractor already knows what that is. Talking about it upfront and running some worst-case-scenario numbers or doing some early, selective demolition to get more information could be the best way to get a handle on what may be ahead.
If you would like to read the rest of the questions to ask your contractor before you start a remodeling project, check out the article on Houzz. If you are interested in a remodel and would like to ask your contractor these questions, please contact Westhill Construction and you’ll see that we will satisfy your remodeling needs!