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7 Questions to Ask A General Contractor Before Hiring

Before you invest your time and money in hiring a general contractor for your next home renovation or building project, there are some important questions to ask that will ensure you’ve chosen the right person for the job. According to Admer Construction Group, LLC, there’s a lot of work that goes into residential and commercial projects, and you need someone who is experienced in the field that completes work with integrity and quality.

In your selection process, you can improve your chances of hiring a good general contractor by researching online and asking the right questions. By asking these seven important questions, as mentioned in this article, you can provide a better-informed decision for yourself. Remember, the general contractor you choose to hire will have a huge impact on the finished product and the worksite’s safety.

Do you have proof of license and insurance?

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It’s important to ensure that the person you are looking to hire as your general contractor has proof of license and insurance. Having a contractor license is evidence that they have met the requirements and approval by the state to start and complete your project. If any unfortunate events occur onsite, your general contractor should have the appropriate insurance.

How long have you been operating in business?

A construction company or general contractor with years of experience will have better systems in place for getting projects done on time and with the utmost quality than less experienced ones. In addition, experienced general contractors will have a track record of success that is verifiable through past projects and client testimonials that can be found on their websites.

Are you involved in any other projects at the moment, and when can you start?

By asking this question, you will be able to know what your general contractor’s schedule looks like because, more likely than not, if they have been many years in the business, they are going to be working with multiple clients. An experienced general contractor should be able to manage multiple projects at a time in a reasonable manner.

Can I see a completed project or talk with a previous client?

One red flag that you should look out for is when your general contractor refuses to show you previous projects they have done or are hesitant to speak about previous clients. If this is the case, it’s advised to look elsewhere. If provided with the details of a past project, take a look at the quality of work, timeline of completion, material sourcing, site cleanup, project cost, and any relevant client reviews.

Can I see the contract before work begins?

Ensure that your general contractor provides you with a contract (either in print or digitally).

This is very important because a contract contains pertinent items such as estimated project duration, material and labor costs, warranties, guarantees, areas to be renovated, on-site policies and protocols, etc. If you are serious about hiring a general contractor to handle a home remodeling or other building project, take the time to compose a general contractor agreement.

How do you receive payment?

The three most common payment methods for general contractor jobs are 1) Lump-Sum or Fixed Price, 2) Cost Plus, 3) Guaranteed Max Price. It’s important to confirm with your general contractor which payment method they accept and what their payment policies are. To clarify any doubts or concerns about payment, review the payment delivery details as stated in your contract or discuss directly with your general contractor.

What is the typical timeframe for project completion?

By asking this question, you will have a good idea of how long the project will take, in addition to the payment schedule and how many phases the project has. The time frame will vary between small and large projects. For example, a simple bathroom renovation can be completed in just under a month (dependent on other factors). In contrast, a full-scale exterior home renovation can take several months or even more than a year, depending on house size.

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