Asking The Right Questions Before You Start!

general-contractorI’m sure we can all agree that renovations can be very stressful.   Even the most successful renovations – that run on time and on budget – still seem to cause stress!

While you might not think it, when you hire a General Contractor, you are entering into a relationship. And like all relationships, it’s important that you are with someone you can get along with.

It’s important for you and your general contractor to be on the same page – so be sure to ask questions to get to know him/her and their team. The answers to your questions will provide you with some insight as to how the project will go, and how well you will work together. The questions and answers will also determine the expectations on both sides.

Some questions to get you started:

  1. When are you accessible? (Consider whether you expect your General Contractor to be available to you 24/7)
  2. Do you use sub-contractors?
  3. How are you to be paid?
  4. How are change orders handled?
  5. Do you have a warranty?

Share some insights with your prospective General Contractor as well.

  1. Do you want a report on what’s happening everyday or would you prefer weekly site visits?
  2. If you’ve worked with another General Contractor in the past, why are you not working with him/her again? What did you like most and least about the other General Contractor?
  3. We have ALL heard some pretty scary renovation stories that can make anyone nervous about trusting their renovation will go well – what are you most nervous about?
  4. Say very specifically what is important to you – cleanliness (particularly if you will be living in the house during the renovation), completion date, budget, etc.

While your “relationship” may only last a couple months – the end result should last you years!

A renovation will go much smoother if you feel comfortable with whom you’ve hired! Transparency from the beginning is key. Do you have any other tips to share for ensuring a stress-free, easy relationship with your GC? Let us know!