Mina recently collaborated with Redfin on “13 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor” and the following is an excerpt from that blog.
There’s a lot that goes into any home project, no matter the size. From the initial design phase, obtaining permits, and the execution – the process can be complex. With so many decisions involved in a home project, it’s essential to take the time to carefully choose your contractor. Having a team that you can trust and see yourself working well with over the course of the project will help make the process a breeze.
To help you prepare for your upcoming home project, we thought who better to ask than the experts themselves? We reached out to professionals in the remodeling and construction industry – all the way from Los Angeles, CA to Toronto, ON – for the top questions to ask a contractor before deciding who is best for your project.
1. Ask yourself if the project calls for a full-service remodeling contractor or if a handyman can do the job.
Using a glorified handyman to take on a complex project can be disastrous. The difference is professionalism. If your project involves more than just minor repairs, or you’re doing more than just updating finishes (such as tile or paint), you want a bona-fide remodeling contractor. Ask the company you’re considering “What type(s) of work do you specialize in? Are you registered/licensed, and do you belong to a professional industry group like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or BBB? Show me your work, give me some references, and tell me about your processes”. Adding these items to the list of questions to ask a contractor will help you decide if they’re a good fit for your project. – Michael Hill, owner, CCH Design | Remodel of Meridian Idaho
2. Do you handle all phases of the project, from design to construction?
You’ll want to hire someone who can walk you through the entire process, from helping with the design and renderings, to acquiring necessary permits, to executing the work professionally. Working with the same company throughout the entire project keeps the process smooth and seamless, as opposed to hiring different people throughout every phase. – Yourson Contracting
3. How many projects do you have going on and what is the timeline for our project?
This is an important question to ask a contractor to make sure the contractor isn’t too busy to take on the homeowner’s project. The homeowner will also want to know when the contractor will start and complete the project, and what the project schedule will be. This way the homeowner can be prepared and plan around the construction. This will also help the homeowner be ready for any materials they are providing to be on site for when the contractor needs them, avoiding delays. – AGA Construction Inc.
4. Can you tell me about an issue you’ve dealt with recently where something went wrong on a project and how you handled it?
Interview your contractor as you would interview a prospective employee by asking open-ended questions. Hearing stories about how they’ve overcome obstacles in the past will provide valuable insight on how they would handle issues on your project. It will also open up a discussion around expectations for communication going forward. – Synergy Design & Construction
5. Will there be a dedicated team working on my project?
As we navigate home renovations during COVID-19, this might be one of the most important questions to cover with your contractor. When it comes to who will be on the job – consistency is key. It’s normal for contracting companies to be working on multiple projects at once, so make sure to verify that there will be a dedicated team on your project. If this is not an option, make sure the company goes over the safety precautions that have been put in place due to COVID-19. – Penn Construction & Design