What to Ask a General Contractor

Asking the right questions cuts your work in half when searching for the right contractor for your project. It helps you make a better choice of who to work with as well as understand the scope of your project. It also ensures a smooth working relationship with the contractor you finally choose.

We have put together these vital questions you need to help you enjoy these benefits. Read on to find them.

  1. Are you licensed?

The right answer – YES

The question on the license is vital for many reasons. First, it gives you the guarantee that if the contractor does not perform a complete job you can hold them accountable with a licensing body. Some states also require contractors to have a license while some don’t. If your state requires a license, be sure to check a licensing agency in your state to confirm that the contractor’s license number is authentic.

  1. How long have you been working in this industry?

The right answer – A few years that present enough time to have over ten references that you can contact.

Experience can never be underestimated. While you do not need the contractor to have decades of experience to assure you of his expertise, a few years in the business comes with proof of a good or bad record. You can see reviews and reach out to the references to inquire about their experience.

  1. Do you have insurance for damages if they occur?

The right answer – YES

Quite simply you really do not what an uninsured contractor working in your home. The insurance is there to protect you from costs or responsibility should accidents occur or anything gets damaged during the construction process. Luckily such accidents or damages are rare but you cannot skip having an insured general contractor.

  1. Do you have a workman’s compensation insurance for your employees?

The right answer – YES

You do not want to be held responsible for the treatment of an employee who got injured while working on your project. This is not because you are unkind, but because you can’t shoulder such unexpected expenses like surgery for example. All professional general contractors carry this insurance.

  1. What is a realistic or estimated timeline for this project?

The right answer – A specific timeline that you would expect the contractor to work by.

Knowing how long the project takes is important to help you prepare for the project and find housing alternatives if necessary. It also helps you agree on milestones with the contractor so you know if your project is on track. You can hold the contractor to this estimate and avoid any surprises like the contractor taking off while the project is incomplete.

Transparency is important and a good general contractor can answer your questions easily and clearly. If the contractor seems to have a hard time doing this, then it is a red flag you might not want to ignore.

Check out other vital questions to ask your general contractor here.