On average, the annual rate of home repairs and maintenance costs around 2 percent of your home’s purchase price. While this may sound exaggerated, it’s essential to address the need for repairs in real-time. The best news is that homeowners who embrace constant repairs minimize the risk of accumulated costs. The bad news is that you cannot undertake the most critical home repairs and maintenance needs on your own. You need seasoned experts to help you navigate this challenge. However, you’re in luck because this guide will help you identify questions to ask general contractors before engaging their services.
Questions to Ask General Contractors
Probing potential contractors will help you identify the most qualified in the pack. Here are all the hiring tips and tricks you need to help you fish out the best.
1. Do You Have a Contracting License?
Home repairs contractors, just like professionals in all other sectors, operate within a regulatory framework. States and Cities have specific legal requirements that each contractor must fulfill before receiving a license. As such, you need to question your potential contractor about their legal credentials. Working with a licensed contractor gives you a sense of confidence, given that such credentials are valid. Most States have official online records of licensed contractors. Such information may be useful in the verification process. This question should be at the core of the vetting process. Are you wondering what Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards contractors need to adhere to? MSDS Electrical offers essential guides to the regulatory standards per state.
2. How Long Have You Been in the Business?
Do you want value for your money? Well, most greenhorn contractors promise more than they can deliver. You need to be sure that your potential contractor fits the bill. If you’re dealing with a contractor who is still new in the game, consider hiring them for smaller projects. You must consider experience as a matter of priority when dealing with major repairs. Most contractors who have been there longer know their way around home repairs. They should be able to outline their experiences and projects completed.
3. What Is the Timeline for Completion?
Time is of the essence. Your potential contractor must have a clear timeline of completion. The time needed to deliver may vary depending on the extent of repairs. Even so, it’s noteworthy that factors such as workforce and other pending projects might affect delivery. Vetting your potential contractor should involve understanding how changes in circumstances might affect the timeline. You should aim to understand the contingencies set in place in case of unexpected changes in the schedule. Such a question will help you manage your expectations regarding the delivery process.
4. How Can I Get in Touch with You?
Communication is vital when dealing with a contractor. You need to determine beforehand that the contractor is accessible. Details such as the contractor’s cellphone number or hotline are imperative at this point. However, a physical address is the ultimate threshold. You need to be sure that in a few years, these contractors will still be accessible. A reliable contractor should furnish you with satisfactory contact details about the business. If the contractor doesn’t have a valid physical address, this may be a red flag.
5. Can You Provide a Copy of Your Insurance Policy?
You have the responsibility to ensure due diligence when vetting your potential contractor. This ensures that your contractor has the right coverage for the job at hand. Workers’ compensation and liability insurance are two of the most critical policy options you must consider. Insurance certification should top the questions to ask general contractors before engaging their services. You need to pay specific attention to the extent of coverage that each prospective contractor has vis-à-vis your property value. You don’t want to end up being liable in case of injuries and accidents during repairs.
6. Will You Have a Team of Dedicated Experts Focused on My Project?
Most seasoned contractors have multiple projects running simultaneously. You aren’t the only client on their list. It’s critical to seek an honest response to this question, given that every client craves for undivided attention. Ask the prospective contractor if they have a dedicated team that will focus on your job until completion. Inquire about the project managers and their scope of work. You should also seek to find out whether the company plans to subcontract at any point.
7. How Do You Handle Disputes?
It’s essential to be open-minded when hiring a contractor. Disputes may emerge along the way as you deal with the contractor. They should be able to outline how to manage conflicts if disagreements arise. Amongst the primary questions to ask contractors should be their dispute resolution mechanisms. Their response can help you determine how comfortable you would be filing a conflict. A reliable contractor understands that disagreements are part of the operational process and puts systems in place beforehand.
8. Is There a Warranty for the Services?
Before engaging a contractor, it would help to consider the scope of the warranty they offer. You need to know beforehand that the contractor has your back in case of anything. Any honest contractor will be willing to extend a written warranty expressing their readiness to revisit the project in case of faults. You should request a copy of the warranty that outlines the contractor’s commitment to quality. This warranty not only affirms reliability but also gives you the peace of mind you need.
9. Do You Have Hidden Charges?
Repairs are costly. It would be a real let down for your prospective contractor to pile additional costs on the final invoice without your consent. As such, you need to know that the current estimates won’t fluctuate beyond what’s manageable. While repairs are unpredictable, there are acceptable levels within which prices can change. A seasoned contractor should be able to estimate any additional costs and inform you in advance.
Vetting Your Prospective Contractor Is a Matter of Priority
You need to be sure that the repairs will be done according to your expectations. The only thing that will guarantee you this is to probe your potential contractor beyond any reasonable doubt. With these nine questions to ask general contractors, you are assured of getting the very best. Was this article useful? Continuing exploring the real estate section of Small Business Brain to learn more.