Did You Ask Your Contractor These 10 Critical Questions?

Published on August 31st, 2020

Coastal bathroom remodel with soaking tub and his and hers shower complete with black and white tile and accents of light blue.

You’ve taken the time to hand-pick the best general contractor for your upcoming remodeling project. Nice work! Trusting someone to interpret your vision of the space you’ve always dreamed of is a huge step on the journey to your dream home.

We’d love to tell you the hardest part is over, but now is a critical time to really get the conversation going. Our 10 must-ask questions for your remodeling contractor will ensure your project runs smoothly before it even begins.

  1. Will you pull the permits?
  2. What is your working day like?
  3. Will my project have a dedicated team?
  4. What is the best way to reach you?
  5. What is the timeline for completion?
  6. What is the payment schedule?
  7. How will you protect my property?
  8. Is there a warranty?
  9. Do you anticipate any challenges?
  10. Can I get that in writing?

1. Will you pull the permits?

The permitting process is the last thing you want to think about when envisioning your dream space. More than merely pieces of paper, permits afford you protection that should not be compromised. Skirting around them may put you at risk. The experienced general contractor you’ve chosen will make sure this is not the case.

Not all jobs require permits and inspections. If your project is more than just cosmetic, however, a permit will be required. It is the responsibility of your contractor to know which permits you need and how to acquire them.

Time is another consideration. Pulling permits takes a fair amount of planning. Whether its days, weeks, or months, depending on the locality, your general contractor should know to factor this time in.

2. What is your working day like?

In order to keep expectations clear, it is important that both homeowner and contractor communicate about construction days, especially if you will not be present while the work is being completed.

Make sure you have specific start and end times nailed down for each working day. An experienced builder knows that organization is essential.

Other important topics for discussion include:

  • Removal of items in or near work areas
  • Parking situation in your neighborhood
  • If your presence is required at any point
  • Who (if anyone) will be present during construction, such as pets

3. Will my project have a dedicated team?

You should expect consistence in all aspects of the project—starting with the work that is being done to the team that completes it. Will the same people be working in your home each day? Successful construction companies often juggle many projects at a time so it is important that you hold them accountable for consistent work.

At Project and Property, we assign a dedicated Project Manager to your home. They are responsible for every phase of the construction process, from demolition to final walk-through, so you can count on consistency. We know the importance of feeling secure in your home with familiar faces and want to make sure you are comfortable at all phases.

The business owner should also be checking in on the project regularly to make sure all is going according to schedule. Daniel Tanner, our President, frequents every job site and is able to tailor his approach to the needs of each homeowner. Being a family-owned business allows us to provide a more personalized experience, making room for greater consistency in your project.

4. What is the best way to reach you?

Having a designated point of contact may seem obvious, but the specifics surrounding this topic will affect you majorly if they aren’t communicated clearly in the beginning.

You need to know the best way to get in touch, and when a response should be expected. Be sure to find out whether call, text, or email is preferred.

Another benefit of being a boutique design-build firm is that we are available to you when larger companies, or even smaller, less involved companies are not. The importance of communication during this process cannot be overstated. We want to make sure you are confident at every step of the way, and make staying in touch a priority in order to accomplish this, even after hours.

5. What is the timeline for completion?

From the outset, it is critical that homeowners have a clear picture of the timeframe it will take to complete each step of the project. An experienced contractor knows that unexpected issues may arise and factors this in as well.

6. What is the payment schedule?

A reputable contractor will not ask you to pay the full price for your remodel upfront. Instead, a payment schedule will be determined. This is based on completed stages of the project. Your remodel contractor should make you aware of exactly the amount that is due and when.

7. How will you protect my property?

Homeowners often shy away from this question in order to avoid being perceived as disrespectful. If you’ve chosen the right contractor, they will be happy to tell you what steps they are taking in order to protect your home.

The team is there to improve your home, so they will gladly take measures in order to maintain its current state while they are making it that much better. What this looks like is very specific to you so be sure to discuss the details with your contractor.

8. Is there a warranty?

Successful contractors have no problem guaranteeing their work. The specific amount of time will vary so you want to know ahead of time what it covers and for how long.

We provide our clients with a five year warranty on all labor. Additionally, we work exclusively with companies who provide warranties on their products as well, in order to ensure the most coverage for the homeowner.

9. Do you anticipate any challenges?

Most projects have an unknown, or an area that will inevitably trigger a change order. An experienced contractor already knows what this will be well before the project begins. It’s best to discuss it upfront and run some worst-case scenario numbers to get a handle on what is ahead.

10. Can I get that in writing?

Last, but certainly not least, nothing is complete unless it is in writing. You may agree on something in passing but unless that verbal communication is put in the contract, it may as well not exist.

Because you’ve done your homework and hired the best general contractor for your remodeling project, you won’t have to worry. It is their job to be your advocate at every step of the way.

Ideally, your contractor will have questions for you as well because they want to make sure communication is clear and that you get exactly what you want. This open dialogue is a key to creating your dream home and must not be overlooked.

At the end of the day, it is in our best interest to be transparent with our clients. The majority of our business comes from referrals, so we would like for you to be raving. This helps keep our passion of bettering your life alive.