Making changes to your home can be a lengthy and costly project, so it’s important to find the right contractor for the job. With so many companies claiming to be the best, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help guide you in your search, take a look at these important questions to ask potential contractors before you hire them.
- Do you have a portfolio of past projects?
Reviewing previous projects will help determine if a contractor has the experience you are looking for. Does their portfolio vary in design or do they tend to have a similar style throughout their projects? Does any of their past work match what you are looking for? Having a portfolio that shows diversity and quality will set them apart from other contractors. It is also important to note that some contractors will need architectural plans rather than creating the design themselves, so make sure you discuss this.
- Do you have references?
Any great contractor should have plenty of happy customers they can refer you to. Although seeing a portfolio will help you decide if you like their work, contacting references is important to get a glimpse into their entire process. Be sure to ask if there were any difficulties they experienced throughout the construction if the contractor stuck to the timeline and kept them informed during the project, as well as whether they would hire the contractor again.
- What materials do you typically use?
When choosing a contractor, it’s important to find out what materials they are most comfortable using. Have they worked with a wide variety of materials? Do these materials fit the needs of your project? The right materials can depend on the project type and the weather conditions, but it is important to find one that will last over time, and the more options available, the better.
- Do you have a license and insurance?
If a contractor cannot prove they are licensed and insured, you should steer clear. Not only will a licensed contractor give you peace of mind, but it is extremely important in the event that something goes wrong. Everyone involved in the project, including any subcontractors, should also have a license and the proper insurance.
- What is your lead time?
Lead time can vary greatly depending on the time of year and the contractor’s own schedule. However, a general rule is to expect a 3-4-month lead time from the initial consultation. Keep in mind that longer lead time isn’t a negative, it means a contractor has a list of people using their services. Someone who promises to start immediately may not have the same track record as a more seasoned construction professional. Make sure they give you an estimate, and remember, the most important thing is to choose a contractor who will keep you in the loop throughout the process.
Doing your research on contractors ahead of time will save you time and money down the road. In addition to these questions, make sure to discuss project-specific information including budget and the space you have to work with. And if you are looking to renovate your outdoor spaces, choose the professionals at WICR. Not only will they make sure you’re always taken care of, but they’ll also keep you updated throughout the entire project.