Home and Property

10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor

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10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Before the sawdust flies, take some time to ask your contractor 10 key questions to make sure you’ve got the right person for the job.

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Communication. It's the cornerstone of any good homeowner-contractor relationship. Put these 10 asks on the table before signing with a contractor to make sure they measure up.

  1. How long have you been doing business? Someone who's been plying their trade for years will likely have an established crew of subcontractors and suppliers.
  2. Do you guarantee your work? A credible contractor should guarantee the work and provide a written warranty agreement.
  3. Could you itemize your bid? Many contractors will only provide a single, bottom-line price. Ask them to break down the costs.
  4. Who will be here every day? There might be a team of people flowing through your home. Who will be supervising subcontractors? Who will be opening and locking up?
  5. How will you protect my property? Will drop cloths and floor covers be used? It's best to have this talk before demolition begins.
  6. Are you licensed to work in my location? If licensing is required in your state, make them prove it with a copy.
  7. Will you obtain all necessary permits? Some contractors hate to pull building permits because they add costs to the project and can slow a project down. If one is required, make sure the contractor obtains a permit.
  8. How will you communicate with me? Via text? Email? Agree on mutual preferred methods of communication.
  9. Is there anything about my project that concerns you? If there are any unknowns or uncertainties, it's good to address them upfront.
  10. What kind of documentation will I receive after completion? End-of-project paperwork like lien releases or a list of subcontractors and contact information should be clear.
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