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Whether it’s a small renovation or a completely new landscape, one thing that will make the process go more smoothly is hiring the right contractor. It’s very simple to google “General Contractor Near Me” but to find one that is perfect for the job requires additional steps.  

We are going to discuss some of the priority questions to ask before hiring a contractor for your next project. Keep these questions in mind so you can avoid any time wasted or work that may cost you more money overall. 

Are You a Licensed and Insured Professional? 

This may seem like an obvious answer but always make sure the contractor can provide you with all the necessary licenses and insurances. Do not be afraid to ask these questions along with what type of insurance is carried. It will save you a headache and money if anything goes wrong.  

How Long Have You Been in This Business? 

Asking this gives you an idea of who you’re working with and how much experience that contractor has. You’ll want to find out the number and variety of projects that have been completed by the business. Be sure to ask if they have completed the specific renovation you are planning.  

What is The Expected Timeline for This Project? 

Learning about the contractors’ work schedule goes along with their organizational skills. You certainly don’t want a project to drag out longer than needed, costing you additional time. Find out how many projects they are currently working on. You want a contractor to have other work but if they have too many jobs going on at once it may affect the timeline of the project.  

Do You Anticipate Any Challenges Regarding This Project? 

You can brace yourself for any potential hurdles and put the appropriate measures in place by asking the contractor if they foresee any challenges. Pushbacks do happen but make sure the contractor is relaying that information ahead of time. Their response should explain what actions they will take for any potential problems and if it will affect the cost of the project. Keep track of the progression of the job for a better understanding.  

Will You Obtain the Permits and Set Up the Inspections Required for This Job? 

If you have ever done any extensive renovations before like a deck or siding projects, you know that obtaining permits is often required and time-consuming. Contractors may want to obtain their own permits as they don’t want someone else’s name on their work. It can be pulled by the homeowner but make sure that when given pricing, the fees for any permits are not included.  You also may be held more responsible if anyone in that trade gets hurt or injured on that job. If a contractor is hesitant to pull a permit, it could be because they are unlicensed. Not all projects require a permit, check with your local municipality. 

What’s Your Typical Payment Schedule? 

Understanding the payment terms before work begins is crucial. A contractor typically won’t demand upfront payment without breaking ground first. What should be discussed before any work has started is the cost of the project, dates of payment, and methods of payment. The payment schedule will also help you to be financially organized.  

Do You Have a List of References and Photo Examples of Previous Work?  

If you didn’t find the contractor through word of mouth, then you should ask for verifiable references. This goes along with seeing examples of their work. Most often, contractors have some form of an online presence. You may ask if they have a website or social media profile that displays their previous work, if they don’t already provide photos. Online reviews from Google, Bing or Yelp may be available too.  

Bottom Line: 

Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor these questions. It helps to weed off any potential discrepancies. You have every right to ask these questions, as it is your home that is being worked on. Generally, you’ll want to get quotes from at least three contractors before deciding and understanding the scope of work. If you need any references, visit in store or contact us online!