Questions to ask your contractor before you start your renovation.
You have found a contractor, have a planned design, and are ready to start remodeling your home. It’s no secret that remodeling can be stressful, but a portion of stress always boils down to miscommunication between contractors and homeowners. Below are a few questions to ask your contractor to make sure you are on the same page.
What is your schedule for my project?
Always ask your contractor what days and times they plan on being on-site working. Most contractors have a five-day workweek during the daytime, but not all. It is also likely that the renovation team won’t be at your property for 40 hours every week if they are on other jobs, so make sure you and your contractor discuss scheduling before the renovation begins.
Is there enough parking for your crew?
Especially if you live in a residential area, make sure there is ample room for your contractor and his team to park their work trucks, dumpsters, trailers, lifts, and other needed equipment.
Do you take care of securing all the required permits?
In almost all cases, the answer should be “yes,” but if it’s not, the homeowner could be facing fines for unpermitted work unless the proper permits are secured. Your contractor should know what kind of permits are needed, know how to get them, and be willing to pull them for you.
What steps do you take to protect my property?
Security should be a priority for your home, even if you completely trust your contractor. If you have an alarm system, work with the provider to create a temporary code just for the contractor to use while they are on-site. Make sure you also know who will have access to the home key you provide to your contractor.
Your contractor should also take precautions when it comes to your physical belongings. Ask if they will use plastic walls, tarps to cover large pieces of furniture in the home, if the crew members wear shoe coverings inside, and if they will recommend that items should be moved to other areas of the home prior to the remodel.
Do you need to know where the utility shut-offs are?
Sometimes this is an overlooked question, but it’s important for your contractor to know where the proper switches are if you are not home to show them.
Can you ensure the safety of my pet?
Your pets are a part of your family. Unattended open doors are an easy escape route for dogs and cats, and your pets may not be comfortable around strangers. If your pets need to remain in the home during the renovation, secure them inside a sectioned-off area of the home or a kennel and let the contractor know they are there.
How will you communicate with me during the project?
Most homeowners want frequent and routine communication during their home remodel. Find out how and when you can reach the contractor with any questions, and also ask how and when they plan on communicating with you throughout the process.
How will you clean up at the end of the day and the end of the project?
This is an important question for many homeowners who are left wondering if their house will be a disaster every time the contractor does work. A quality contractor will make sure that end-of-day cleanup is always taken care of by the crew, but even so, ask! Different contractors have different methods and standards of cleaning. Some contractors will even bring in a professional cleaning company at the end of the project, so you’re left with a beautiful and clean new space.
How and where will tools and material be stored if the job spans multiple days?
Part of keeping your home clean is putting everything away, including tools and materials. Especially if there is heavy equipment that needs to stay at your home, make sure you and your contractor agree on a place to store it at the end of the day.
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