A home remodel or new construction is an exciting venture into your future. When getting construction bids for an upcoming project, knowing the right questions to ask will help screen professionals you interview. Look at these 4 questions to ask before hiring a home contractor.
Can I please have your contractor license number?
Not every state requires contractors to have a license. However, hiring a contractor with a license is going to protect you in the process of your project. You can ask for your contractor’s license number to verify with your state’s licensing agency that his credentials are valid. You’ll also know that he is on the up-and-up with all the newest educational trends. Continuing education is usually on the list of what it takes to retain a contractor’s license. Your licensed contractor should be knowledgeable of current building codes and business practices. What is the risk with an unlicensed contractor? If they do not finish the job, you are on your own when trying to find a resolution. With a state-licensed contractor, you will have recourse if they do not provide what was agreed on.
Are you bonded and insured?
Bonding and insurance is another must of questions that should be asked. Some states that require licensing of contractors also require bonding for them to receive and renew their license. A bond provides you with liability protection in case something happens with your contractor. It would be terrible if he goes out of business, bails in the middle of your project, fails to pay for permits, or defaults on other obligations that you have in your contract. Always ask for a bond number and certification from your potential contractor before they begin the work.
Next, double check on their insurance. The contractor on your project should have both liability insurance and worker’s comp. One will protect any damage to your property that might occur during your project. The other will protect the people on the project in case of accidents or injuries on the job. Workers’ compensation will also provide benefits to the worker’s family should a work-related death take place. A properly insured contractor will have no problem with providing you a certificate of insurance so that you can make sure the policies are current. If the contractor doesn’t have liability and workman’s comp, the costs involved in damage or an employee accident could come back on you.
Who will get the permits for my project?
Again, this can vary by state and even by city. But the answer you want to hear on this question is the contractor. The contractor understands the starting and completion needs of the project. A permit will ensure review and approval by a building inspector and that your project meets building codes. As a homeowner, if you pull the permit, you will be the one named on that permit. Then the responsibility of making sure the work is complete and up to code will be on you instead of the contractor. That is the very reason why the contractor should be the one to pull the permit and have his name listed as the responsible party.
Can we put everything in writing?
Finally, with a contractor who is on the up-and-up, you’ll want everything in writing. This will help you to know where you stand on issues like work being performed, subcontractors and their responsibilities, and the timeline of the project, as well as any financing and payment schedule needed. Schedule a meeting with your contractor to go over every single detail.
Get the financing you need to get the job done right.
With these 4 questions to ask before hiring a home contractor, you can be prepared for whatever comes your way. Are you ready to get started on that home improvement project you’ve been dreaming about? HFS Financial consultants are ready to partner with you to get the home improvement financing answers you need to get the job done right. With no staged funding and no staggered inspection or approval process, HFS Financial offers the easiest financing for all of your home improvement loan needs. Whether you are renovating a kitchen or bathroom, installing a new inground swimming pools, finishing out your basement, or working on the exterior of your house or yard, you can trust HFS Financial to get you the funding you need. Just use our easy 60-second application to start your journey to to your perfect home. “You Dream It, We Finance It.”