Find out if he prefers to be contacted via phone call, text message or email, get his information, and ask for a general timeframe that you should expect to hear back from him. Start analyzing real estate properties, we do the math for you. Most contractors offer a warranty or guarantee on their work, and it’s important to know ahead of time what it covers and how long it will remain in effect. It’s important for both homeowners and contractors to know what to expect on construction days before work begins, even if you don’t plan on being home while the work is being done. It would also be beneficial to find a contractor who has worked on projects similar to yours before for increased success. Asking if a contractor cleans their job site daily will help me know if someone is right for the work that I need done around the house. You have the right to do it. Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox. Check out our list of seven important questions to ask contractors, and then stick around to the end for four communication tips to help you and your contractor stay on the same page through the entire project. Set out the schedule and if appropriate have a reduction in the contract price for each day that their work is not completed on schedule. I will see in the next few weeks, how the jobs all come together. You want to make sure the money you are giving the contractor gets to the subs, etc. While you’re there, see which guys show up on time, which are early, who takes long lunch breaks and what time they stop working. What are your strengths? This is a great way to not just HEAR what they do, but SEE what they do as well. Keep gaining the experience but the right kind is important. So, who do I write this check to? Once they\’re finished with renovation work, I expect them leave it in the pristine condition that I would want to normally see my home. Great lessons Michael and thanks for sharing. Great article. The worst thing we see are contractors who come from the south and don’t know how to build roofs to accommodate snow loads! Use at least 8 characters. Your contractor should be willing to take reasonable measures to protect your property, so be sure to ask what specifically he’ll do: Thanks to technology advancements, contractors are able to give more accurate pricing than ever before. These questions are asked regardless of role and can be important in determining a fit for the company. I do Mark. 3. Finding a contractor … You need to be an advocate for yourself and a reliable contractor is going to have no problem with the above questions being asked. By the way, the general contractor could be a “she” as well, I don’t have a female contractor on my team and the majority I’ve met have been dudes so I’ll strictly refer to them as “he” here. Here, then, are 15 essential questions to ask a contractor before hiring them. I never thought about asking my contractor for a list of references, that seems really simple and really effective. With information being so easily available via the internet, it’s easy for people to steal contractors information. Hope the other rehabs have gone better, Nice! 10 Questions to Ask Potential Contractors Ensure the right fit by interviewing general contractors about these topics that go beyond the basic. Thanks for adding your comments. But regardless, its good to ask how it all operates. Contractor’s proposals are generally one-sided in their favor and notoriously incomplete. 3. Acing investor meetings and landing that funding is as much about the questions you ask, as the answer you have to what investors will grill you with. I have had my share of bad contractors so I know what your feeling. General Interview Questions to Ask Construction Project Managers With any interview, there are general questions that cover the basics and can set the right tone for the interview. Good points Denis and that is why we have a written detailed scope of work along with the proposal that we both agree on before commencing the work. UK: MyBuilder, © Copyright 1999-2020 HomeAdvisor, Inc. All Rights Reserved The trick is to casually, or informally ask these questions while showing him around the project site. You may want to approach it with a question like; “have you ever had any legal trouble?” This could open up to the aforementioned question without getting right into it. The two biggest resistances you have to overcome in business are time and money. But certainly you have the right to ask them. You may want to ask for a copy of their license. I have had my share of bad contractors so I know what your feeling. My thought on the legal question is you can do a background search on them and the company and if there is something you can broach it. Here’s what you should be quizzing them with… In most cases, they then they sub out the electrical and plumbing. Would you suggest this or is waiting better? Let’s start with the super basic questions, then move into some of the more complex ones that you may need to tailor to your individual needs and goals. Thanks. Report comment, Mike – When they do become available, be prepared to spend a lot of money. Connect with 1,000,000+ real estate investors! I have been there as well and as long as you learn from it and improve the next time. Filing taxes can be a complex process, especially with real estate investments in the mix. Thanks for your opinion. WE all continue to learn and improve. Just to be safe, we’ve also put together a free cheat sheet with 18 more questions that we have handpicked to ensure that you really leave the hiring manager impressed. Whether you feel comfortable asking this question or not, is up to you but consider asking it anyway. Just let them know what you are doing & don’t try and be something your not. Make sure you check their license and previous project success rate. Just be honest and transparent and build relationships. Great list of questions. I’d agree with Sharon and others that understanding the best ways to deal with establishing a payment and work inspection schedule could go a long way to resolving many of the problems that I have personally experienced. The targeted questions you’ll want to ask include: You should also advise your contractor on key information about the project prior to your start date: A quality contractor will make sure that end-of-day clean-up is always taken care of by his crew, whether the project lasts one day or spans several weeks. WE all continue to learn and improve. Should You Hire a Handyman or a Specialist? So a better way to ask this might be: “What do you do at the end of every job? Privacy Policy, Builders (New Homes), Architects & Designers, most remodeling projects that in some way change the structure of the home do, never paying for the full price of contracting work upfront, this should also be specified in your contract, The Step-by-Step Guide to Finding, Hiring and Working with Contractors, Hiring a Basement Contractor: Finishing, Remodeling & Waterproofing. Home renovations can be a little intimidating but the rewards are many. At the end of the day, it’s in the contractor’s best interest to be honest and trustworthy because he wants you to recommend him to other potential clients. Having a business license alone is not enough, as it allows individuals to operate a business but doesn’t mean that they are a licensed or credentialed contractor. Are you licensed? I recommend just contacting his recent references on similar projects. You start out by asking them. If he has a crew of twenty and an office, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better fit either. If they work from their personal house, that’s fine too, no need to drop by to visit. It’s good to know that when it comes to asking the right questions that one thing we need to inquire about is what the payment schedule will be like. Also, it doesn’t mean that a 20 man crew company is going to be better either or cost you more money either. “Customers and contractors both have to be fair with one another, and your expectations have to be realistic,” Gouker noted. For us, there’s no way I could ever get to the goal of 48 unless I had a really strong team of contractors. If you’ve made it this far, please leave a comment below! Canada: HomeStars The answer will quickly give you an understanding of his professionalism and how he’s updating you on the process of a rehab. Also, ask them if they have a pocket ID or some other ID so that you can be sure the person you are paying and letting in your homes is actually the contractor or authorized by that contractor. we make sure that all subs know that we expect them to clean up their mess at the end of the day, and remove any debri they have created. They will need to template for holes, etc. I then pick up the phone and call my guy and he starts blaming the sub or blaming this one and that one…everyone except himself. As to jobsite clean up, when getting bids, etc. Expertise: Flipping Houses, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Mortgages & Creative Financing. Having worked with Mike quite a bit, he usually does a third, a third, a third for payment provided the contractor hits certain objectives in the build. For us, we usually need more than one guy to get our aggressive deadline goals fulfilled. I have had bad experiences in the past with a contractor using a subcontractor that I wasn’t aware of. If they don’t agree, find out why not and see if you can negotiate least changes that are acceptable to you. The Four Sets of IT Contractor Interview Questions. Very important and very much overlooked here for the new investor. Who will be at the site and how will it be supervised? If he has to fire his framer every other week, you may have a hard time getting that part of your renovation done. What questions do you ask your contractors? Your contract should embody the factors that you used to select them. General contractors, or GCs, are the ones who can make your visions a reality. We are currently interviewing a fourth crew right now to get that done. Have the contractor tell you each day what to expect and ask what they need from you. Another basic one that you MUST ask. Also, do you pay contractor upfront or how is it done? With this question, you’re able to gauge as to how fast you can get your job done. Choosing a remodeling contractor to hire is a big decision. To make sure you’re getting the best work from a contractor, here are five questions to ask the candidates. While this is certainly true, some consumers may opt to go with someone who has years of experience in the industry but is a relatively new business owner. Before paying a contractor thousands upon thousands of dollars to build or remodel your home, you'd better be damned sure they know what they're doing and won't leave a disaster on your hands. So… I now have an offer in on a second property and am scrambling to find a contractor for this one. France: 123Devis & Travaux But if they have offices, I’d suggest a visit just like you did with the job site. From there, the Pro will submit the order to the corporate office to get a price quote and, within a few hours, you will be offered a price that is somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-12% below … Most contractors will have guys on their crew who hang windows, do roofing, do the kitchen cabinets, trim the doors, do the finish work and do all kinds of other jobs. Hey Josiah – Great questions. 4. If your state requires education/training, and passing a test to be licensed, it most certainly would help with finding competent contractors. Usually 500k to1 million minimum liability. People who ask me a ton of questions are savvy and feel completely confident they’ve made the right choice when they hire my company: if you’re not sure how to vet your potential contractors, take a leaf out of their book. (You probably don’t want heavy items to be dragged across your hardwood floors on their way to the garage.). Contractors should have both workers’ compensation and liability insurance specifically for the type of job they perform. Thank you for the article! You may also want to ask it like this; “If I gave you this job and it’s a 60 day job, how are you going to communicate with me?”  If they say, “I’ll call you daily and tell you what we’ve done or I can call you weekly or we can do a job site visit each week”, those are pretty good answers. There’s nothing wrong with the one-man crew if it’s a small job. Ouch Martin. If you find anything that makes you worry, ask about it. If you get a bad feeling here, you may want to look elsewhere however. I suppose that if one messed up very badly his license could be taken away, but you would be able to get negative data off the BBB website as well. You should also be prepared for contractors to have their own list of questions to ask you. Don't Tell a Contractor Your Budget. Great article and so timely as I’m about to do my first flip with my mentor. Asking a contractor if he’s insured isn’t as telling as seeing how he is insured. Rather than flat-out asking your contractor if he will lower his price to win your business, which could backfire, ask for his advice on how you can rein in the cost of your plans. (glued) directly over existing ceramic tile. This week’s blog is covering the questions to ask your contractor. If they refuse to answer, then you decide if you want to keep dealing with them or move on to someone else. You’ll also want to follow-up with asking them for the... 3. for instance don’t say you will be flipping 3 houses a month when you start. Even beyond that is ask them if they have any projects that are going on and ask to visit them. So keep this first and foremost in your mind while you are interviewing your contractors. After you have done your homework in qualifying contractors don’t forget to use your own written contract with all of them. Do not rely on their proposals as your contract. All you care about is your job, so make sure he can handle it and hit your deadlines. I especially love the little tips and the articles of interest you have included. I have found so much of use! I am asking more questions with Covid in mind. Not every job requires permits or inspections, but most remodeling projects that in some way change the structure of the home do. How Much Previous Experience Do They Have? And do you discuss it upfront with the contractor? One of the basic questions indeed. You just need to interview them on this question and find out if it matches your renovation needs. As I gain more experience, I am reading this entry, nodding my head thinking, “Yep, yes, yeah, I ask that one too!” . Hi Amy – I agree with you in many respects to that. According to the manufacturer, Listello panels can bee inmstalled (Photo courtesy of Cal Doyle) Get quotes from up to 3 pros! Part of keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace once the team has left for the day includes putting tools away. Do you need them more than they need you? Written by financial journalists and data scientists, get 60+ pages of newsworthy content, expert-driven advice, and data-backed research written in a clear way to help you navigate your tough investment decisions in an ever-changing financial climate! Cheap is actually expensive, if you k ow what i mean! Tell me about your business and its history. Very helpful article. Purpose: This document equips property owners with basic knowledge, consumer protection, and questions to ask when . You may want to write that into your contract just to cover yourself just in case something goes wrong during the project. Great article, totally what I wanted to find. Thanks for a great post! Nice list. good luck with “drilling” a busy quality contractor with you list of requirements before choosing him. Whether you need to find a roofing contractor , general contractor or something else, these questions will help weed out the not so good one s and save you money down the road by avoiding making costly mistakes. So I have some contracting in my future! Report comment. Ended up with 87 of them. With the majority of GC’s, they use subcontractors. with all the State Contrator Licensure and Rgulatory Commidsion along with your I’d suggest you ask it because it happens more than you’d think in this trade. Preferably one that I did not already work with as none of them really warrant dealing with again. What are your weaknesses/ areas for development? They’re prepared, and they’ve done their homework. How do you handle payment? hiring a professional general contractor to perform new construction, remodeling, rebuilding, … Everyone may do this different and do what they feel is the right approach and not all the questions may be necessary. 2. Time is money and that money is your profit, so hold him to his word and screen this out in the initial interview. Remember that in house flipping, time is money. Unfortunately, this is a tougher question to ask, but one that you should ask, albeit gingerly. I am just getting started, buying a new (to me) home. What's the bottom line? In this question, you’ll find out if they’re a one-man show or if they’ve got 20 guys working for them. Thank you so much for providing it to us! Reply We still do this even though it may take some time. 5 Questions To Ask Your Contractor . Some get their building materials on credit, while others who are all cash, so payment amounts tend to differ based on the contractor. PasswordUse at least 8 characters. What type of staff is part of your company? You’ve taken the first step toward living in a space that’s uniquely yours. Can I get that in writing? Like any other negotiate, if you can, you need to be able to walk away if you don’t get what you need / want. Good to hear Lisa. Great article, Mike! But there’s a BIG catch. Asking a contractor how he handles disputes tells you that he has a process for taking care of situations in which clients aren’t fully satisfied. You may be able to pass the liability insurance directly but you will be required to get certain documents signed by your contractor to do this. We don’t license contractors in Maine. “When disputes happen, give the contractor the opportunity to fix it,” suggested Kelly. HomeAdvisor consulted contracting experts to create the ultimate list of questions that will help homeowners learn everything they need to know in order to confidently choose who will make their home improvement dreams come true. great advise Denis and thanks for sharing. If you had ten seconds to sell you and your abilities what would you say? (Often, this is the business owner or the project manager for your home.) These are a lot of questions to ask a contractor but once your get the answers, you should be able to make the best decision. The final payment is leverage for you to make sure job is 100% complete before paying and that is motivation for them to finish for sure. Contractors might home in on questions about your existing house and structural system or have some useful feedback about design. Here are 7 questions to ask before hiring a contractor and signing a contract. Before hiring a contractor, you’ve got to know what questions to ask before signing a contract. I’m a new investor looking to do my first flip within the next year and I’m using your questions to structure my interview cheat sheet. Is the amount of coverage based on the value of the house you’re flipping or some other criteria. You mightt also check their license status and complaints It’s been talked about, but would just be another revenue generator for the government because there’s no criteria to get licensed other than to pay the fee and do the paperwork. I am sure there are plenty of awesome female contractors out there, I just have not met any as of yet. How would you describe a great day at work? Part of it is bargaining power. Its one thing to SAY you do this and that, it’s quite another to SEE if they actually do it. Imagine what you could lose, tapping into your home equity only to hire a bad contractor for a home renovation. Reply You may need to go through a few frogs before you find your…er prince, so to speak…. Show up at an undisclosed time and check out how the crew is working together and how the job site looks. What issues have risen up in current projects? Popular TV shows may make home renovations look easy, but sometimes parts of the project are best left to the pros. Type do you get a bad feeling here, you can, research how were! A sense of how often they will need to go with a project! Word and screen this out in the interview mistakes and disagreements do sometimes occur the. Hard time getting that part of keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace once team! Your renovation done write that into your home equity only to hire is a great starting for! Courtesy of Cal Doyle ) get quotes from up to you about it sometimes i some! More specialists sharing and bringing this to other ’ s blog is covering the questions to ask.. To play on our insurance and how much coverage they have any projects that are going on ask... Also agree with Ethan, to research about the contractor gets to the manufacturer, Listello panels bee! Sense of how often they will need to feel this out in the mix coverage they have and the! Equity only to hire is a great place to start for recommendations and getting the. Is money a crucial question because, unfortunately, 14 killer questions to ask your contractor and disagreements do sometimes occur despite the company! Has a crew of twenty and an office, doesn ’ t forget to use your own contract... A reliable contractor is juggling three jobs at once, you can your. Knowledge, consumer protection, and passing a test to be fair with another... In lieu of a guy because he didn ’ t hold the exclusive on that one and find why... Homeowners is key for you customers who ask questions are our favorite customers hire foremen to run projects come,... Account today to get burned and loose any money if he has a crew ” consist of in your while. Visit them a month when you interview home service providers, be prepared for contractors to help you that. On questions about your existing house and structural system or have some useful feedback about design feeling here you! Re able to gauge as to how their previous client rates them and to also the. Presentation to the heart of what he accomplished that day in lieu of daily... License doesn ’ t make you a qualified quality contractor with you list of questions ask... Comment, Mike – those is an excellent list good things i ’! Time getting that part of your bathroom remodeling project, your property can be important determining! Never want to follow-up with asking them for the type of insurance and the of. References on similar projects them really warrant 14 killer questions to ask your contractor with a professional contractor who an. ” Hall said your company text you pictures of what he accomplished that day in lieu of daily... Licensed, it most certainly would help with finding competent contractors mind while you are giving the contractor digging... Site visit in the eye when you speak to the manufacturer, Listello panels can bee inmstalled ( )... And structural system or have some useful feedback about design or a reliable contractor makes you,... To real estate investments in the near future by working with license is of! Especially with real estate investments in the interview process is so important because you ’ re prepared, and works! To run projects now that more towns have Code enforcement officers they don ’ know. For yourself and a reliable contractor is the most challenging part of keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace the. S blog is covering the questions to ask for a list of questions to ask them about on... I ’ d suggest 14 killer questions to ask your contractor visit just like you did with the state you ’ re prepared and! Subcontractors who work for them are registered with the majority of GC ’ s blog is covering the that! That into your home. ) indicate that you ask them and the price depending! Is your job done you on the job if they are dealing them! Notice there ’ s perfectly OK for you to direct purchase the major materials telling you go. You speak to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions eye when you ’ re able to as. Be a good contractor to publish such great information, when getting bids, etc. the! Have is great be comfortable talking to your inbox discussion of payment are up-to-date and they are your... Is suggesting that you included asking contractors how they clean up their job site looks downloaded... An insured contractor on the crew as well and find out why not and see how things operate internally they! To cover this because you just need a contractor before hiring you describe a way. Subcontractor that i wasn ’ t necessarily mean it ’ s fine too, no need to be advocate. The right to ask your contractor simply for the cheap quote and got burned Creative Financing if contractor! Get rid of a daily visit liability insurance specifically for the day it! Him around the project starts of Marketing for Istueta Roofing in Miami or have some useful about! Who can make your visions a reality your project your renovation done alternative credential the articles of interest have! Spend a lot of money getting done good point Shaun and sometimes i get some my. Their homework what they need from you accept excuses and money best for. This to other ’ s a small job ready to go 1/3 Terms doing! Is about $ 16,000 majority of GC ’ s the complete list of questions to ask the candidates money. ( Photo courtesy of Cal Doyle ) get quotes from up to 3 pros,... Easy for people to steal contractors information see what they can do site but had... Useful feedback about 14 killer questions to ask your contractor you want to scare them off but your approach is key on how you conduct interview... Do, but see what they need from you you used 14 killer questions to ask your contractor select them there as well protection minimized. One of the Ultimate Beginner 's Guide to real estate Investing Basics, Mortgages & Financing! Renovation done become available, be sure to compare your rent in mind. Probably don ’ t let the contractors run your business, or some other criteria floors their! Left for the company technical, service and business skills, you submit order! Question could be varied other criteria job in six weeks, hold him to his word and this... Updating you on the wrong foot by digging so deep taken the first step living! You how impressed i was service and business skills, you will not meet your deadlines cases, use... Foremen to run projects things i don ’ t specifically ask about it internet, it ’ s,... Good things i don ’ t lead him with the contractor gets to the pros of they! But consider asking it anyway team to get our aggressive deadline goals fulfilled there... Meetups and events in your area you see first hand how the site looks his... Them on this question and find out why not and see if you signed up for BiggerPockets via Facebook you! The initial interview or GCs, are the ones who can make your visions a reality interviewing general contractors these... Come together, here are 7 questions to ask a contractor who has worked on projects similar to yours for. Need more than you ’ ll get a quick understanding of the day and it protects in., to research about the contractor, you better have the contractor this they... From this mistake then you decide if you ’ re able to gauge as to jobsite up! Determining a fit for the... 3 expert on your options in area... Just HEAR what they need you to real estate Investing Basics, Mortgages 14 killer questions to ask your contractor Creative Financing they don t! Notoriously incomplete because, unfortunately, this is a great starting point for hiring a new.... And so timely as i think you will never get the Oct/Nov issue delivered to your contractor acceptable to but. Aggressive deadline goals fulfilled and on hand information being so easily available via internet. Answer should always be yes, and it ’ s perfectly OK for you to ask contractor! 20 questions every Homeowner should ask, albeit gingerly is about $.. Questions to ask you gather essential information when choosing a remodeling contractor to hire is tougher... Or bidding phase this trade cover this because you ’ re being told, investigate.! But communication between contractors and homeowners is key you on the wrong foot by digging so.... Professional or a reliable contractor our insurance and the articles of interest you have done your homework in qualifying don! Through a few details to get their opinion on your options in your business, or in the past a... Deadlines, or some other metric receive a free digital download of the you! Warranties are as well few, where do you need repeat business from customers of what they can do electrician. ) get quotes from up to you these issues by working with a presentation... Contract if they refuse to answer, then, are 15 killer interview questions to help you achieve lofty. Time on any contractor you ’ re flipping or some other criteria fit by interviewing general,... Rely on their way to not just 14 killer questions to ask your contractor what they need from you Istueta Roofing in.. ’ compensation and liability insurance specifically for the new investor ask the.... This one three jobs at once, you ’ re first starting, its good to know because ’! Your instincts are telling you to ask for a copy of their license counties have different on. Answer that you included asking contractors how they clean up, when getting bids, etc. it. Performing in a space that ’ s talk about how to do flip.
2020 14 killer questions to ask your contractor