3 Questions To Ask A Prospective Contractor

by Editor on June 13, 2013

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A dream house becomes a reality with the help of experienced home builders. But it can be quite a challenge to find an expert builder who will take your needs and suggestions sincerely and one who will not take advantage of you financially. It is essential to find one who is dependable, and someone that you can talk to openly about your concerns who’ll also do the job efficiently. In order to find one, you must be discriminating and you should ask the right questions because what happens in the beginning will impact everything from then on.

So, what do you ask a prospective contractor? Here are a few questions that will help you in determining who to hire.

1. What is your bid?

There are mainly two issues about contractor bids that you should clarify. First, know the specific items or services included in the bid, and second, verify if the bid is fixed or not. When you request for a bid, contractors will usually give you a quote that will make you wonder what services or materials it covers. Hence, it’s very important to ask a contractor to itemize a bid so that you’ll know how much money goes into specific activities or items, such as plumbing, electrical, fixtures and finishes, and so on.

Another issue is about whether or not the bid is fixed. Do not assume that the contractor gave you a fixed price. Ask the contractor to clarify if the bid is an estimate as this means that costs can go down or up, and the latter often happens. You might find yourself spending more than what you have planned for. In case the contractor says that he can’t give you a fixed estimate because of certain unknowns, help him in determining what these factors are. For instance, maybe he wants to examine the extent of water damage in a certain area. Allow him to inspect the place thoroughly so that he will be able to provide you with a fixed price. If he still refuses to disclose some details about his bid, then that’s a red flag.

2. Are you going to personally supervise the job?

Each contractor has a different work routine. Ask a possible contractor about what his routine is so that you’ll know if he or a different foreman is going to be available at the site all the time. Inquire about who will oversee the workers and the job being done. It’s also important to ask if the contractor is going to hire subcontractors. This opens several issues. If the contractor usually hires subcontractors for certain jobs, like doing the finishing or roofing, find out if he has worked with these people before. If he is taking chances with new workers, then you are too.

3. What happens if there are changes or problems after the agreement has been finalized?

Even though you and your contractor have already ironed out all the details and expenses, sometimes, problems can crop up after the construction has started. Ask how such issues will be handled so that you’ll know what to do or who to contact in case of problems.

All in all, be very methodical when choosing a contractor. Also, although you might want a cheaper price for home building services, be realistic too. Materials and labor are expensive, and cutting back could mean sacrificing quality in some way.

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About the Author

The article is by Claire Flint, a full-time freelancer who has written hundreds of articles for many satisfied clients. She also writes about Home Builder Richland Washington because she hopes to encourage people to learn more about their choices before they go ahead and buy or build a house.

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