4 Main Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Hiring

In this series of articles, we’ve covered some ways for homeowners to boost their home’s value, including upgrading their kitchens with simple fixes, as well as debunking common home value myths. If you’re looking to sell your home in the future, or just want to upgrade it to make your home more functional, it’s best to hire a licensed and experienced contractor. Contract work often stresses homeowners out, and there’s no shortage of contractors with a history of shoddy work and bad reputations. However, in this article, we’re going to provide a detailed list of questions you can ask to save yourself from the headache of hiring a poor contractor. Before starting any work on your house, however, protect it with a Windham County Home Insurance policy.

Ask for itemized estimate.

Everything from demolition to materials and labor should be included in the itemized estimate your contractor provides. This way, you know how much you’re saving or spending with each portion of the project. Rather than get an overall bottom line price projection, ask your contractor to itemize it, including details on the following, according to House Logic:

  • Demolition and hauling trash
  • Framing and finish carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • HVAC
  • Tiling or other floor covering installations
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Drywall and painting

Ask for a fixed bid.

Some contractors treat their bids as estimates, meaning bills could wind up being higher in the end. Be sure to request a fixed price bid instead. If a contractor says he can’t offer a fixed price because there are too many unknowns about the job, then try to eliminate the unknowns. For example, have him open up a wall or examine a crawl space. If you can’t resolve the unknowns, have the project specs describe only what he expects to do. If additional work is needed, you can do a change order — a written mini-bid for new work, says the article.

Inquire about their suppliers.

Any reputable contractor will have established relationships with vendors and suppliers. Ask for a list of suppliers he or she frequently uses, then call the businesses to see if they have positive things to say about the contractor.

Request to meet the foreman.

The job foreman is going to be the one who’s running your project and working in your home each day. Ask to meet with this person and see if he is personable, honest and if his other projects are running smoothly.

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