After months or even years of planning, you’re finally ready to make your dream of building your own home a reality. But before you get started, your first step should be hiring a reliable contractor. Finding someone who is trustworthy and skilled in new home building is important, because hiring the wrong contractor could cause a huge headache for your family and cost you a lot of unbudgeted money.
One of the keys to finding the right contractor is knowing the right questions to ask. Be prepared for each potential contractor you interview with these important questions.
Are You Licensed?
General contractors should carry a license granted by your state that permits them to make major renovations and build new homes. Asking for proof of licensure from the start will guarantee that your contractor has met the basic requirements for working legally in your state.
Do You Have Insurance?
Before hiring a contractor to build your home, always make sure you are fully aware of what insurance they carry. All contractors should carry general liability insurance that will cover any damage that could occur in your home or to their tools as well as workers’ compensation to protect you from liability if one of their employees are injured in your home.
How Many Homes Like Mine Have You Built Recently?
Avoid working with a contractor who cannot provide proof that they have plenty of experience building homes like yours. The best way to be sure your contractor is skilled and experienced is to ask for a list of homes they have built over the last few years.
Can Your Provide References?
Here at Home Improvement Leads, we know that one of the best indications of a contractor’s reliability is their past work. As your contractor to provide a list of references from previous clients so you can follow up to see how satisfied they were with their new home. Since most contractors will only provide positive references to potential clients, it is a good idea to do your own research by reading reviews online or asking friends and family about their experiences with local contractors.
Will You Be Hiring Subcontractors?
When taking on a project like building a house, it isn’t uncommon for a general contractor to hire subcontractors for jobs that require more specialized skills. If this is the case for your contractor, you will also want to research the reputation of the subcontractors that will be working on your home.
What is the Typical Timeline for Building a House Like Mine?
Waiting for your new home to be built isn’t just exciting, it can become an inconvenience if it extends beyond your expected timeline. This is especially true if you have relocated to a rental or a family member’s home while your home is being built. Before hiring a contractor, make sure you have an honest conversation with them about the timing of the job.
Doing your research before starting your home building project can make the difference between a terrible experience and smooth sailing. If you’re well prepared and know all the right questions to ask, you’ll not only save yourself the headache of errors and oversights on the job, but you’ll ensure that the home-building process is as enjoyable as possible.
By: Mary Sauer