Latest Issue

Questions to Ask Your Renovation Contractor

Individuals looking to renovate their homes typically reach out to a number of professionals for estimates before choosing a contractor. Once that decision has been made, it’s customary to sign a contract to ensure all parties are protected during and after the work.

A renovation contract outlines the details of a remodeling job. The construction company or the general contractor will create this legal document, which will list the steps of the job and how issues will be resolved should problems arise. Prior to signing a contract, however, homeowners should engage in a conversation with the contractor and ask key questions.

How long have you been in business? Verify the information that the contractor and/or company provides by doing a search with the Better Business Bureau and perusing online reviews to confirm the company is dependable.

Are you independently owned? Some companies are independently owned businesses while others are franchises. Franchised businesses may have to follow a strict set of rules, while independent contractors may have more leeway in terms of policies.

What is your license number? Obtain the licensure information as well as the contractor’s insurance details. A contractor’s general liability insurance protects your home and property in the event of an accident.

Are you familiar with local building codes? Check to see if the contractor has worked in the area before, and if he or she is familiar with the permit process. Make sure a contract documents who will be securing the permits.

How will the project be supervised? Some contractors sub-contract out the work and may only stop by to check on progress. Understand how often those drop-ins will take place, and how to get in touch with the person in charge should a problem arise.

Is there a warranty? Certain contractors will stand behind their work for a period of time, even coming to make repairs if there are any issues. Check to see if a warranty policy is in place.

What is the policy for home protection and clean-up? You’ll want to ensure the rest of your home doesn’t become damaged or soiled due to the construction. Have the contractor spell out plans for mitigating mess during demolition, and whether the construction company will be responsible for removing the debris.

What is the final price? One of the more important questions to ask is if the price stated on the contract will be the final price, or should incidentals be expected if issues are unearthed during construction? Some contractors may need to tack on charges for extra materials, and that can stretch homeowners’ budgets.

It’s important to touch base with the contractor and ask key questions about the project, which will be reflected on the contract both parties eventually sign.

Family Features