4 Questions to Ask a Potential Construction Contractor
Construction contractors serve as the backbone of building projects. A good contractor-client relationship comprises reasonable expectations and open communication.
Among the first pre-construction tasks is to look for a potential contractor who can align with your timetable and project goals and then present them with questions.
Asking all the right questions is important to ensure you choose a good contractor for all your projects. Some of these questions may include the following:
1. What is a Reasonable Timeline for My Project?
Ask a potential residential or commercial construction contractor to be specific about the expected timeline. Although unexpected issues can arise as a project unfolds, a professional contractor must be in a better position to give an estimate for a project’s timeline.
Ask for a schedule outlining the completion data and different milestones to achieve. This helps to provide measurable goals to ascertain that your project will be on track.
However, note that renovations usually take longer than expected. For that reason, it won’t hurt to inquire about the future commitments of a construction contractor. The last thing you want is for them to disappear to other projects before they complete yours.
2. What is Your Experience and Background?
Include this question on top of your list because it is a great icebreaker that tells you whether they are perfect for your project. Find out also how long a contractor has been in the business and how many construction projects they have already completed.
You may ask about previous projects, which might have been similar to yours, to determine whether the contractor can have the job done. Remember to ask for some specifics, too, as you collect background information, like the following:
- Previous projects
- Number of finished projects
- Time in the industry
3. Are Your Bids a Fixed Price or an Estimate?
Some construction contractors treat bids as estimates. This means bills can wind up being high in the end. So make sure you request fixed-price bids instead.
If a certain construction contractor says that they can’t provide fixed prices because the project has a lot of unknowns, try as much as possible to eliminate those unknowns. For instance, have a construction contractor examine a crawl space or open a wall.
If you cannot solve unknowns, have project specs describe and explain only what a construction contract needs to handle. If you need more work to be done, do a change order.
4. Does Your Business have Liability Insurance?
Imagine dealing with water or fire damage to your property or that of your neighbors. Anything may happen at a construction site. So ensure you see the insurance cover, and don’t forget to contact the insurer to verify.
Most homeowners believe that they are protected, provided a contractor has insurance. But it will be best to first ask about the contractor’s insurance type.
Whether you want to renovate or construct a building from the ground up, you will make many critical and complex decisions. One of the decisions you will make is choosing a construction contractor. To ensure everything goes smoothly, you must choose a contractor who checks all the boxes.
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