Hiring a Contractor – 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Contractor. Today’s guest blog is by Law Offices of Larry H. Lefkowitz. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Home Builder Gainesville.
Hiring a Contractor
Planning the construction of your new home can be a very exciting experience. Once you’ve dealt with the liabilities of estate planning, you can finally focus on the architecture and design. It is time to visualize your plans and the ideas that you have seen while browsing lifestyle and home interior magazines and blogs. You are overwhelmed with ideas and know exactly what you want every room to look like. Now all you need is a home contractor who can understand your vision and build a home that looks exactly like you have imagined. You need to make sure that the person entrusted with the job is reliable, so be sure to check reviews and references before hiring a home contractor.
Here are a few questions that you should keep in mind while looking for the best home builder:
Q.1. Are you licensed?
Most states require contractors to obtain a construction license or some other form of certification to legally operate. Make sure that your contractor is qualified for the job, or you will be responsible for any construction mishaps.
Q.2. Will you get a Permit?
The building inspector in your area must review and approve your construction project. It is the contractor’s duty to obtain the legal permit before initiating the construction project. Any contractor who insists on taking the job without a permit is one that you should avoid.
Q.3. Will you provide a written contract?
Everything the contractor verbally promises regarding the venture should be delivered in the form of a written contract. This includes the presumed time frame, list of tasks, required materials, total expenses, and other significant details. You should also discuss a reasonable clause of termination in case the performance is unsatisfactory.
Q.4. Do you have Insurance?
Every construction company should possess insurance and Worker’ compensation. If a laborer gets hurt during the job, the company’s insurance will pay for his/her medical bills and lost wages. If your contractor lacks insurance and an accident occurs, you may become liable to provide this reimbursement.
Q.5. Can you provide References?
You want to hire a contractor who has ample experience and a good reputation in their field of work. A dependable contractor shall be able to name at least a dozen suppliers and customers he/she has worked with in the past. You should contact these references and even look at previous construction projects.
Q.6. Who is the Job Foreman?
The contractor is usually busy securing and finalizing more projects, hence he/she will not be available at your site 24/7 to supervise. Therefore, you must meet the actual ‘job foreman’ who will manage your home’s construction project on a daily basis.
Q.7. Can you break down the Costs?
The overall cost of the project can be confusing, as you can only guess what the final cost may be. So, ask your contractor to itemize the price, so you can understand your budget and make the necessary adjustments. This way there will be no surprises at the end of the project.
Q.8. What is the daily Work Schedule?
If the contractor speaks of a nine to five shift, then that’s how it should be. Make sure that work is started and wrapped up at the foretold timings. Punctuality and steadfastness are essential to complete the project on time.
Q.9. How often will you check on the progress?
Even though the contractor is not directly involved in the manual work, he/she is responsible for the final outcome. The contractor must make regular rounds on the site (at least once per day) to ensure that everything is under control.
Q.10. What is the timeline for completion?
The construction project should begin with a particular goal in mind. Do not accept vague answers and demand a specific date for finishing the work. This shall prevent the contractor from slacking off and delaying the job.