Let’s set the scene. You’re gearing up for a big property development project, and the excitement levels are at a fever pitch; you’re touching base with your partner every hour, on the hour to make sure things are running smoothly; and you’ve got the contractors all clued up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. All sounds good. What could go wrong? Well, in the hustle and bustle of a new development project, it’s easy for people to take that last factor, the contractors, for granted. People say: “They’re professionals! Of course, we can count on them.” But is that the case? You’ll want to make sure the contractors you choose are indeed the best fit for your project, and you can do so by asking them these 10 simple questions.
Can I see your contractor license?
Not all states require contractors to have obtained a valid, non-expired license, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. You’re investing a lot into that project (whatever it may be), and it’d be a crying shame if you left the work in the hands of a team who hasn’t proven their competence by acquiring a license. Oh, and don’t worry about offending your contractor; if they are fully licensed, they’ll have no issues with showing you the relevant proof.
Are you bonded and insured contractor?
Before your contractor’s team sets foot on your property, this question is essential. Then, if the worst should occur and disaster befalls your project, you’ll be thankful your contractor is bonded and insured—and therefore able to cover for the losses incurred.
How long have you been in business?
This question shouldn’t require much explanation. But, regardless of the situation, are you more likely to trust someone with years of experience or a true-blue beginner?
What are your company’s safety practices and protocols?
Safety should be one of your contractor’s top priorities. If they don’t have an answer to this question, be concerned.
Who will be my point of contact?
Any good contractor will provide you with a dedicated contact, someone who’s 100% in the know and able to respond to your queries. Without this person, you’ll soon feel left in the dark with regards to your property. That’s not a nice feeling, so it’s crucial to establish who your main point of contact will be before your project begins.
What projects have you taken which are similar to mine?
If you can get your hands on some case studies of your contractor’s prior work, you can get a feel for their quality and experience.
What’s the expected time scale for completion of this project?
It might make you feel like a child in the back seat of the car asking, “are we nearly there yet?” but don’t be ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with trying to establish a time scale for your project with your contractor. On the contrary, we recommend that you do!
What’s your warranty policy?
Sometimes, the flaws in a contractor’s work won’t begin to show until a little while after you’ve parted ways. If your contractor’s work starts to fall apart or crumble, you want to make sure they will correct it. That’s why learning about your contractor’s warranty policy is so important!
Will a dedicated team be assigned to my project?
Contractors, especially larger-scale ones, tend to have multiple teams on the go at any given time. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that the same team sticks with your project for the duration. That way, you can rest easy and safe in the knowledge that an unfamiliar and inexperienced team won’t wander onto the construction site halfway through your project.
Are there any extra charges with your service?
The only thing worse than an additional charge is an additional charge that’s also a surprise! So, clear away any confusion and make sure you get all the bills out in the open.
Don’t take things at face value. Ask questions, be curious and know what you’re getting! Trust us; you’ll be glad you did.