February 20th, 2018 10:13 AM by Annette Masterson
Sometimes you can get so excited about starting a renovation that you forget to do your due diligence in selecting a contractor! So before you jump into your next project, be sure to ask a contractor these five questions:1) What and for whom have you renovated before? Ask the contractor for references so you can talk to other homeowners who have used him or her. Then follow up with these homeowners to ask what they liked and didn’t like about him or her and the renovation process. If you’re tackling a similar renovation, you could even ask to see the work.
2) When is your estimated start and completion date? And a secondary question may be “What do you need from me to get started?” Some contractors may have months-long wait times and depending on when you need the work done, you may have to mark some of them off the list based on their availability to start. You’ll also want to ask if you will be their only project or if they plan to bounce back and forth between your project and others.
3) What licenses and insurance do you have? Your contractor should have all applicable licenses and as well as insurance and be able to show them to you for proof. From there you can find out what, if any, permits you or the contractor may need to pull from your local codes department before you can get started.
4) What is your estimate for the project? Request quotes from various contractors when you first talk to them. When you’re comparing quotes, be sure you’re comparing “apples to apples” and be leery of any quotes that fall too far below the others. When you ask about payments, avoid anyone who only wants to be paid in cash. Find out how much, if any, is due up front and who will pay the subcontractors.
5) How do you best communicate and how to do prefer to make final decisions? Ask the contractor how he or she prefers to communicate – via email, phone, text message or in person – and how often he or she will initiate more formal update meetings. You’ll also want to find out how the contractor will want you to make a final decision on everything or if he or she wants the ability to make decisions when you aren’t immediately available.
What other questions would you ask?
To search for homes on the MLS, click here.
Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.