What to Look for in a Home Contractor

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If you’re looking to make significant renovations to your home, a home contractor should be your go-to person. They’re experts in getting these types of projects done and will take all the hard work off your hands. But how can you be sure that the person you’re hiring is indeed an expert? Here’s what you should ask when you’re choosing who to hire.

1.How many years of experience do you have in this industry?

Sounds obvious, but you will want to work who someone who’s been doing this for a considerable amount of time and has had time to learn from previous mistakes. Experience is one of the most valuable assets anyone can have.

2. Are you licensed?

Depending on the state you live in, specific regulations in place might require contractors to get licensed. This is yet another safety measure to make sure you are doing business with someone capable. HomeAdvisor lists the different requirements for contractors in all 50 states. 

3.How big is your crew?

There’s no wrong or right answer for this one. It will all depend on the scope of the job that you want to get done. If it’s a big project, you’ll want someone with a bigger team so that they’re most likely to finish the project on time. 

4.What is the projected timeline?

Any good contractor should be able to give you a timeline for the completion of the project. Unexpected things can happen that might tweak the dates a little, but you should always set expectations when it comes to dates.

5. Who are your suppliers?

This question allows for digging deeper into the contractor’s past projects. Supplies might be able to tell you about the contractor’s reputation and relationships with past clients. 

6. Do you have any references?

Asking for references is a direct and always acceptable request to get a sense of the contractor’s past projects and reputation.

7. Who is the onsite manager, and how can I contact them?

The onsite manager is the person who will be at your home every day overseeing the project. They are also the first person you’ll want to contact in case anything goes wrong. Sometimes this is the same person as the contractor, sometimes not.

8. What is the payment schedule?

Each contractor can work differently when it comes to payment; therefore, make sure to establish a payment plan and expectations before starting any project. And, be wary of any contractor who asks to be paid in full; this is not a common occurrence, and it is a considerable risk for you. 

9. Do you carry workman’s comp insurance?

Your home becomes a workspace for the duration of the project. There will be multiple people working in it for extended periods of time; this means that if any of them were to be injured, you could be found to be legally responsible. Because you want to avoid this at all costs, make sure that you’re contractor has a workman’s comp insurance in place. 

10. Do you have insurance?

Workman’s comp insurance is not enough. You’ll also want to make sure that your contractor is insured so that if they happen to break anything by accident, you won’t be responsible for those costs. 

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