Your home is more than a place to live; it's an asset you want to protect. Whether you're remodeling a room, building an addition, or simply changing an appliance out, our REALTORS® strongly advise all of our clients to vet and question any potential contractor thoroughly. Asking the following five questions will help ensure that the contractor you hire will get the job done efficiently and to the highest quality standards.
- Are You Licensed & Insured?
Never hire a contractor that isn't licensed and insured. Licensure helps ensure the contractor will adhere to all building codes, fire codes, etc. It is more than an indication that they have sufficient knowledge of their trade to perform the necessary tasks. Additionally, never hire a contractor that isn't insured. If something happens and the contractor doesn't carry insurance, you could end up footing the bill for injuries.
- What is the Timeline?
Many contractors juggle multiple projects at the same time. You should find out where your project fits in their schedule and how long they estimate it will take to secure the required permits, components, labor, etc., to complete the project. The more you know about the start date, completion date, and any potential delays, the better you can plan your schedule so that disruptions and inconvenience are kept to a minimum.
- Who Will Do the Work?
If it is a simple project, the contractor is likely to do the work themselves. However, for a room remodel, addition, retrofit, multiple skill sets may be required. When this happens, it is advisable to determine who the contractor will hire to perform concrete work, plumbing, roofing, framing, etc. Make sure you know who will oversee the project as the project manager and that all the subcontractors working on the project have the required licensure, insurance, and workers' compensation coverage.
- What is Your Working Style?
Conflict is never pleasant, and it's the last thing you want to deal with when your home is in pieces. Asking the contractor about their work style, desired types of communication (sense of humor!), when and how much noise you can expect, whether they're okay with you in the home while they work, etc. can help you find a contractor whose personality, work ethic, and communication style is suitable for your project.
- How Much Will the Work Cost & How Do You Get Paid?
Many people are uncomfortable discussing money, but the reality is that if you don't get down to details, you open the door for an unpleasant surprise down the road. Always discuss how much the project will cost and whether the contractor foresees any incidentals or potential cost overruns. You will also want to discuss how and when payments will be made and the dispute resolution process if a problem arises. It may be uncomfortable to discuss, but remember, it is a lot more comfortable than pursuing or defending a lawsuit later on.
We proudly work with some of the finest contractors in Ohio and know quite a few who have transformed numerous Mansfield and Ashland homes for sale into some of the area's finest homes. Contact us when you need a contractor to make your new home a little more comfortable or make your current home more appealing to prospective buyers.