Home Renovation: Questions to Ask Your Contractor

So you are ready to remodel your home. Or, you have some issues that you have been avoiding for some time, and you are finally ready to have them repaired. First, you will have to find a home repair specialist or a contractor. There are a lot of different methods of finding the right individual or company, you can ask around to other homeowners that you know or who live in your community. Or, you can search them out by advertisements or on the Internet.

After you have selected who you think you would like to use, you should be sure to interview them. You do not want to entrust your home repair to just anyone, you want to be sure it is someone qualified and reputable. There are many things that you can and should ask of a potential home repair contractor or home repair specialist. Some of these questions should include:

 

  • Are you a licensed and registered contractor in your field of expertise? While some states license electrical and plumbing contractors, there are only a certain number of states that actually require license or registration for other types of home repair. So it’s a great idea to investigate and find out what your state requires.
  • Will the job I would like you to perform require a permit?  If the contractor who you are dealing with does not know, then they are likely not who you should use. If the contractor is competent then they should know all about the permit regulations and be prepared to obtain them before even beginning work on your project.
  • Do you have experience with my type of project? How many different projects similar to mine have you completed over the past couple of years?  If the contractor you select is worthwhile they should have names and telephone numbers of people that can attest to their ability and workmanship. Ask them for a list of people, and take time to contact them before you start paying for any type of repair.
  • References: Contractors should have a list ready for you to check. Part of the referral process should include you contacting the Better Business Bureau to check on them. Also find out if they plan to do all the work themselves. If they are going to use sub contractors, find out the information for their subcontractors, also.
  • Do you cover your business completely with full insurance coverage? While this seems like a simple thing, you would perhaps be surprised at the number of businesses that do not carry enough insurance coverage. Then, when something goes wrong you as the homeowner are left holding the bag. Contractors should have personal liability, workers compensation, and property damage coverage. Check with the local insurance board to see if they have made any claims against their own insurance, or anyone else’s for that matter.

 

By taking these simple steps you can make sure you are dealing with a reputable contractor, and avoid a lot of heartache and hurt later.

If you are having a dispute with your contractor, consult with a real estate lawyer to discuss you case and find out what options you have to resolve the dispute.
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