From remodeling kitchen cabinetry to knocking down walls, a home renovation is a sizeable investment of money and time. It also takes quite a bite of trust in the person managing the project. But you don’t have to trust blindly. Hiring the right contractor means asking questions and doing your best to avoid surprises during or after the renovation process. Home Improvement Leads shares the top five questions you should pose to your contractor to make sure he or she is a good fit.
Will you present proof that you are bonded and insured?
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re working with a trustworthy person and company is to use the Better Business Bureau in your area as a resource. You want to make sure that your contractor is bonded; which means that if the contractor does not complete the job or performs shoddy work, you’re protected from losing your investment. You’ll also want to make sure your contractor is insured, as construction work is risky for the workers and inhabitants of the home. You should not only be looking up this information, but specifically asking your contractor to furnish proof. Ask if the insurance covers each crew worker as well as your family and any visitors.
How will you protect and clean our home?
No one wants their house to be a mess at the end of every work day. But a mess is part of the process of renovating, and every minute that the crew spends straightening up is a minute you have to pay them. Consider arranging a weekly cleaning schedule rather than daily to avoid spending extra.
Ask the contractor what measures the team will take to protect your property from dust and damage. Remember that at the end of the day, you care more about your belongings than strangers trying to get a job done. Remove items from the area in question and store them away from potential debris. Cover furniture with plastic or cloth, and lay old carpeting or paper on the floor where the crew will be walking. Find out specifically what steps your contractor will take to keep your belongings safe so you know what further steps you have to take to fully protect your home.
What is the remodel schedule?
No matter how excited you are about it, a home renovation can be pretty intrusive. Certain areas of your house will be out of commission, meaning you have to temporarily find new ways to do everyday tasks such as preparing food, doing laundry, or even getting ready for the day. That’s why a remodel schedule is essential. Failure to plan ahead leads to frustration in a situation that’s typically already stressful. Make sure you get more than a start and end date so that you know what to expect. This will also clue you in if the project gets off-schedule.
How frequently will we communicate and what is the best way to reach you?
If you’ve been dreaming about a remodel and doing your research, you probably know the inherent risk that plans will need to be changed. Sometimes the guts of a house reveal it’s not in tip-top shape, and reparative measures need to be taken before the project can continue. Sometimes homeowners change their minds about an aspect and need to get in touch ASAP to change plans. You should be able to easily communicate with your contractor about your requests and concerns. See how often your contractor will touch base with you and invite you to play a role in the process.
What role will I play in this process?
Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you or the contractor should take the reins on a certain aspect. They may be the professional, but it’s your home, so what calls do you make and what calls do they make? The best way to avoid this confusion is to ask what role the contractor expects you to play in the process. If you need to have materials picked out by a certain date, he or she should clearly communicate that with you. If you need to be available for meetings or walk-throughs, schedule these ahead of time as much as possible.
There’s a common thread in these questions: keeping communication lines open. If a contractor is communicative and honest, it will be much easier to handle any challenges that come your way during the renovation process.
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