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10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Contracting Company



Understanding what questions and who to ask can make a huge impact on your project from the beginning. Meeting with a contractor for a quote prior to a project is standard in this industry and you might end up meeting with a couple. Finding the right contractors for your job is important when considering the emotional and financial strain you may deal with as well as the quality of the work. Of course, you'd like to hire a contractor that's professional, familiar, reliable, trustworthy, and has a remarkable reputation with an excellent crew—but don’t they all claim to be or have those specialties? How do you know if a contractor is an appropriate fit for your project?



ONLINE RESEARCH

To discover potential contractors, exploring online will help narrow down your options. You can search for respectable contractors in your area by running a Google search for contractors near you or asking for suggestions on community discussion groups and social media.

Here are some questions to ask during your research:

  • Is it easy to get in touch with the contractor?

  • Does the contractor have a professional website with a portfolio of finished projects?

  • Does the contractor have positive or negative online reviews? If so, how did they respond?

  • Does the website supply direct details regarding the remodeling process?


IN-PERSON CONSULTATION

After you've created a list of possible contractors, you can begin setting up meetings where you'll have a more thorough conversation about what you're looking for.

Here is a list of questions you can ask before hiring:


1. ARE YOU LICENSED AND INSURED?

Out of the countless questions you could ask any contractor, this one might be the most vital. Depending on which state you live in, license requirements can vary. This is why it's important to make sure the contractor you hire has liability insurance for the type of work they do, worker’s compensation insurance, and any mandated state license(s).


Hiring a contractor without a suitable license or insurance can put you in huge financial trouble. You will have to presume liability for their safety insuring all expenses linked to any mishaps that may happen on your site. If they don't have liability insurance, the least they could do is carry worker’s compensation to shield you from costs due to damages or injuries. You may request a copy of their license and reach out to the issuing authority to confirm that it is current and reputable.


2. WHAT'S YOUR EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND?

This will reveal if they’re the right fit for your project type. Learn how long they've been in business and how many completed projects they have. Keep in mind that time in business doesn't always equal knowledge, therefore it’s necessary to get as many specifics on background information as possible. You can ask about previous projects that may be alike to yours, to know if the contractor got them done on time.


3. WILL YOU PROVIDE THE PERMITS?

Permits and inspection requirements differ by location. Regardless, the contractor should always pull the permits. A professional contractor will know what building permits are mandated, and they should manage this for your project without a second thought. There will be a few expenses and it will take some time to get the proper permits. That is why having a skilled professional manage the process of scheduling inspections and obtaining permits will allow your job to run smoothly.


4. HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLIENTS?

Communication is key to a worry-free, and positive experience. Your primary point of communication with the company should always be clear and you should feel like you're being heard. You and the contractor need to be on the same page about all details before beginning. A reliable method for you to communicate with the team is a must.


5. WHAT IS YOUR ESTIMATED TIMELINE FOR COMPLETION?

Any professional contractor should be able to provide a predicted period of completion for any project. You may want to request a schedule that provides a finalization date as well as a few milestones in between, that way you're able to make sure the project is on track. Another tip, always make sure the timeline is realistic and ask about any possibilities that may push back your completion date.


6. WILL YOU TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT MY PROPERTY?

Every home construction project begins with some type of demolition. Asking the contractor what steps they will take to guarantee that the rest of your house remains untouched is very important. Though there are a few things you can do like moving and covering furniture with a tarp to steer clear of damage, the majority of the responsibility lies on the contractor to avoid things like; staining carpets, harming surrounding walls or scuffing wood floors. In addition, you can request to have them lock up when leaving your property if you aren't home that day.


7. CAN YOU PROVIDE A LIST OF PAST CLIENT REFERRALS?

Looking through references allows you to choose the right contractor to get the job done correctly the first time. A great contractor will have no problem letting their past work speak for itself. The best way to better understand a potential general contractor is from credible sources. You can ask about the final product, the process it took to get there, promptitude, professionalism, budgeting, and if they would hire this contractor again.


You can also do your own research on sites like Yelp, Houzz, BuildZoom, any social media, and Google reviews to see what past employees and customers have to say about them. If a contractor checks all of your boxes but there’s a specifically bad review, you can always ask about it to get the full picture before making a final decision.


8. WILL YOU HIRE SUBCONTRACTORS FOR THE JOB?

Most contractors will have multiple projects going on at once. This makes it rare for them to have an available worker for everything required for your project all at once. Typically, they handle this by hiring subcontractors for these jobs. This tends to make it more challenging to know who will be working on your job and they could change at any point.


Regardless, a professional contractor will just about always hire good quality subcontractors. You can even ask for the names of the people they'll hire, and what type of work they do. Use these details to confirm these subcontractors' credentials and make sure they have the necessary insurance requirements.


9. HOW DO YOU HANDLE UNFORSEEABLE SETBACKS?

It’s expected to face occasional "bumps in the road" during construction that are often due to suppressed elements within the current structure that can’t be revealed until after construction starts. A functional planning strategy reduces surprises in a remodeling project, but it can’t always rid of them completely. A well-experienced contractor should have a designated plan for how to address such unpredictable factors that might not be established in your contracted range of work.


10. WHAT DOES YOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?

It's important to know how the contractor will bill you for the project. Discuss payment periods before work begins, including due dates, milestones, and payment amounts. Once you arranged a contract delivery strategy, you can ask about the payment schedule. Most contractors request payment before starting a project, but you should always consult and agree on a set plan. Usually, payments are required after every project milestone is finished, and the last payment is made when the project is completed. A payment plan not only guarantees your project’s completion but will also assist with your own financial organization.


WORK WITH US!

At Stay Forever Inc., we guarantee to check every box on your list of questions you'd ask a general contractor. We are a family-owned general contracting company located in Southern California with over 25 years of experience. We specialize in new construction, bathroom and kitchen remodels, commercial and residential construction, ADU's and so much more. With a California State License for the past decade, we are more than qualified to get any job done right. Whenever starting a new project, big or small, our goal is to always meet your expectations and provide incredible service. As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on making a genuine connection with our clients.


Stay Forever Inc. is always committed to working towards perfection. We love what we do and take a very serious approach to our work. Customer satisfaction, punctuality, and budget are at the top of our priorities, allowing you to be more confident in our capabilities. Communication with our clients is extremely important to us in ensuring we deliver a project that satisfies you. Our team looks forward to building homes, as well as a lasting relationship with you!



We are Stay Forever Inc., The Best Choice For Homes!



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