It isn’t uncommon for a homeowner to begin the process of a home remodel or renovation without understanding the exact responsibilities and duties of their Virginia general contractor. It is up to you as the customer to ask the questions. With the information you gain from the questions below, you will stand a much better chance of completing you project successfully.
What is your best estimation of the schedule?
Most homeowners are very interested in this one. Whatever the general contractors that you interview say, remember that the renovation could take longer if there are snags that no one can predict.
What kinds of insurance do you carry?
The answer should be no less than public liability and property damage insurance. Verify that the policies are current and that they aren’t set to run out before the work is estimated to be completed.
How many employees work in your crew?
A general contractor should have a crew of at least a few workers to make sure that the work is completed in a timely manner. If electrical or plumbing must be done, then you must insist that licensed contractors complete it. Ask if the skilled labor will be done by actual employees or subcontractors.
Are YOU going to personally oversee the work site every day?
A general contractor can be a very busy man with more than one site going at once. The homeowner may assume that the general contractor will be there every day, but this is often not the case.
Whose responsibility is it to obtain the permits?
Obtaining all of the right permits is just part of the job. If a general contractor that you are interviewing doesn’t want to get permits, then you probably shouldn’t hire them.
Can you give me contact information for 3-5 past clients?
Talking to people who have successfully completed a home improvement project with the general contractor in question can do a lot to put your mind at ease. It will also give you a good idea of the finished quality to see what the contractor has done before.
What is not included in the price quote you give me?
This should scare off the low ballers that are just trying to get the job with a small quote. Note that sometimes there is extra expense that no one sees coming, but adding on every box of screws as the contractor gets them is over the line.
Are you registered with any professional organizations?
A general contractor is going to be much more accountable to their work if they have to maintain a good reputation with any or all of the following organizations:
• Home Builders Association
• Better Business Bureau
• Chamber of Commerce
• NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association)
How can I most conveniently stay in contact with you?
It can be very frustrating to call a contractor over and over again, just to get voicemail. Establish beforehand the best way to get a hold of your general contractor beforehand to prevent such difficulties.
The best defense against disaster and theft is knowledge. By forearming yourself you can start on the right foot towards your goal of a fully renovated or remodeled space. It takes a partnership between you and your Virginia general contractor to make your dreams come true.