The hardest part for most homeowners is finding a reliable contractor. Based on research, the average cost of remodeling a home in Middle Tennessee is between $9,714 and $77,716. If you include the general contractor fees, $5,245 – $6,557, you immediately realize the immense costs of the project.
Making the practical choice of hiring a reliable contractor guarantees you quality service. So how do you go about hiring the right contractor? The best way is by writing down questions to ask a contractor.
These questions will help you assess the experience of the contractor and accountability. From the answers, you will be able to set a realistic expectation and avoid mistakes.
In this article, we discuss the 6 important questions to ask a contractor before hiring in Middle Tennessee.
How Long Have They Been Doing This?
It’s always a good idea to ask about the contractor’s work experience. Also, the length of time he or she has been running the business can shed light on how long they have been doing similar projects.
The contractor may inform you that they have 5, 10 or more than 20 years of working experience. That’s great because it demonstrates they can get the job done. You may also come across a contractor who recently started their business.
If the contractor is a local, they may have worked for a few people. Since word gets around, you can always find out from neighbors about their experience. Don’t forget to find out if the contractor’s company has received any business awards.
Do They Have a Business and a Contracting License?
Each state or county has different requirements when it comes to business licenses. As a homeowner, you need to inquire if the contractor has the required business and contracting licenses for your area.
Having a business license alone is not enough. With a contracting license, it means they have certifications specific to their expertise. As such, they have passed exams and met specific criteria to prove competency and expertise.
Are They Insured and Bonded?
One of the most important questions to ask a contractor is whether they have insurance and surety bond. Accidents can happen as the contractor’s employees go about remodeling your home. To avoid getting sued, inquire if the contractor has insurance.
Being bonded is a security that protects you in case the contractor defaults. Before hiring, ask for proof of bonding.
Do They Have a Warranty?
Like insurance, a warranty protects you against any issues. For instance, the contractor bought poor quality materials and built a deck for you. Without a warranty, you may end up footing the costs of rebuilding the deck.
With a warranty, all problems arising during remodeling are covered by the contractor. Ask each contractor you get an estimate from about their warranty and get a copy of it in writing. This way you can read it later when you have more time to note any questions you may want to ask your top choices for the project.
Will They Set up Inspections and Get the Required Permits for the Project?
Before any building or remodeling begins, you must get the required permits. The right contractor can handle this for you. Not only do they know the permits required but they understand the process of obtaining them.
If the contractor asks you to pull the permit, this should raise a red flag.
What Is a Typical Working Day Like?
As a homeowner, it is important to know how the contractor is planning to complete the project. For instance, if you hire a contractor for remodeling, what are the project start and end dates? Other questions to ask contractors include:
Will you be required to move stuff from your home? How about the level of noise? Where will the materials and tools be stored? What steps will the contractor take to protect your property?
More Questions to Ask a Contractor
There are a few more questions to ask a contractor. This helps you get information that will ease your decision making. For instance, ask about references, payment schedule, and how disagreements will be resolved.
Having all this information makes it easier for you to choose a reliable contractor.
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