Working with a contractor for building or remodeling can be a great experience, but there is plenty to think about and make sure of before you work with anyone. After all, you are working with strangers, from a company you may not be familiar with, and it is important to familiarize yourself with their operations before committing to a project plan.
Who Will Be Involved and Who Will Be at My House?
Depending on your project, there could be any number of people on your property working for any amount of time. To put yourself at ease in terms of personal safety and confidence that the project will be done, you should ask your contractor who will be working with them on the project, and what their specialties are. This will tell you why each person involved is going to be involved, and will give you a good idea of how much supervision higher level employees in the company will have on those working on the project.
Who Am I Going to Be Communicating With and How Will That Communication Be Carried Out?
Communication is key when working with contractors, as project status needs to be shared with you, questions and concerns need to be addressed, and changes in the plan need to be known by all involved. If there is only one person who you are working with, then it's easy. It just becomes a matter of establish when and how the communication is done, and what level of detail is needed. If there is a whole team of people working on your project, it is important to identify who is in charge of the information and who will be the most up-to-date on project details. It is also important to make sure that the person in charge has an effective way of communicating with their other workers.
Is My Project the Kind That You Specialize in or Enjoy Doing?
You want to ensure that your contractor puts attention into your project, and shows that they care about it. Some contractors specialize in certain projects, like kitchen or bathroom remodels, and therefore may not be the best choice if you are looking at a full house remodel, or an add-on bedroom. If they have experience in the kind of project that you want done, then you will feel more secure in your choice, and worry less about how your project is going along.
How Many Projects Do You Have Going at One Time?
This is a great question to get the contractor talking if you have reservations surrounding how much attention will be paid to your particular project. It will also give you an idea of the employee structure and quantity, as your contractor will likely talk about how many employees the company has and how many simultaneous projects this allows them to work on. If they are working on multiple projects at a time, it is good to find out if they are managed by separate people or if there is a single project manager splitting their attention between all of them. This will help you narrow down what company you want working on your project, if you are seeking a more personal touch, of if it is not a concern.
Do You Have Any Concerns or Suggestions About This Project?
While a remodel or construction project may be your idea, one of the reasons that you are using a contractor in the first place is because they know what they are doing more than you do. Asking them up front about your ideas will ensure that nothing will come up partway through the project that ends up being unfeasible. The contractor will be able to give you immediate feedback on the feasibility of your ideas, and if it is realistic to want that. They can point out things that can be done in a more effective way than you had in mind, and through this collaboration, end up with an even better final product!
Picking a contractor can be stressful, even with recommendations from friends, architects, and online reviews. However, knowing what questions to ask to learn what you really want to find out can make the entire process so much easier! Are there other questions that you have found to be valuable? Share them with us!