10 questions you should ask your building contractor!

What is your experience?
Ask your contractor for references. The contractor should show you written references or take you to see their past building projects in person. A good contractor will be proud to show off his work. It is also important to ask how many projects like yours he has done in the past. An experienced contractor will be able to handle common problems related to the project, have an established network of suppliers where he can purchase the best or more cost effective materials and would hire local or subcontractors known to him, to finish off parts of the job.

Project Timing
How long will the project take?
A good contractor should be able to give you an exact start and end date, including plus and minus days that would account for any delays in the delivery of materials, or any other unexpected situations such as severe weather conditions. To make sure that you have a dedicated building contractor, ask if he is going to be working on any other building projects at the time he will be working on yours, and if he would hire other subcontractors to finish parts of the job. To be safer, ask your contractor to break the job into time stages. This way, you will both know the progress of the building process. All this can be complied into a written contract!

How will I contact you?
Make sure that you have your contractor’s contact details, including his phone number and his address. This is in case you need to find him after the completion of your project!

Who will be responsible for the project works on-site?
Make sure that you know who will be in charge of your project before any works start, and make it clear to your contractor that you want the same foreman / project manager to supervise the job and liaise with you from start to finish! This will save you time, money and aggravation!

Who will be responsible for the permits?
You need to decide in advance who will be responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits? Any experienced and reputable contractor will include this as part of his building process. However, if you want to be in charge, make sure that you manage your time in speaking to the authorities effectively, and communicate with your contractor at all times to avoid any delays!

Do you understand and accept my ideas?
A good collaboration with your contractor is an important part of having your project built properly and on time! Make sure that the contractor knows what your plans are in details and that you sit down and discuss all the details in advance! Also find out if your contactor has worked with architects before and how well will he responds to the outside suggestions. Always communicate any worries up front and make sure all the bases are covered to avoid misunderstandings later!

Are you insured?
Make sure that your contractor is insured on-site and demand to see a proof of insurance. This way, if any worker is injured, you know that it is the contractor’s responsibility to pay for any medical expenses, and not yours!

Will you guarantee your work?
Is your contractor willing to take care of any problems associated with his building work, which may occur after his job is done? If yes, you know that he is serious about producing quality work and meeting the required standards.

Change Orders
What do we do if I change my mind about something within the project?
A good contractor will use a change orders in writing to manage the project change that would include an overall cost to both of you!

How will my house and materials be protected during the building process?
Make sure that your contractor gives you a clear answer on this as it is your investment after all!

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