Making updates to your home is a great way to add value and make your space work for you. I am constantly asked for contractor recommendations by my clients, unfortunately i’ve also been on the receiving end of a few horror stories. Here are some helpful tips and questions you should ask before hiring a contractor.
- Are you licensed in Massachusetts?
- How long have you been in the business?
- Can I have the contact information for at least three references?
- Will you be pulling permits and handling town inspections? Will you make sure the final permit is signed off on?
- Do you have up to date liability insurance? Can you provide me with a copy.
- Who will be my primary point of contact throughout the process?
- What is the payment schedule?
- What type of warranty do you offer for the work?
- What time will they arrive each day? What time does the work day end?
- Will you clean up at the end of each day? at the end of the job?
- What is the timeline for the project?
- How often are their projects completed on time and on budget?
A FEW TIPS
- Ask for an itemized AND detailed estimate
- What is/is not included (trash removal? a full clean up or broom clean? who will fix the accidental hole in the wall?)
- Who is their supplier? Is it cheaper for you to purchase some of the materials direct or does he get a discount?
- Ask the community! Many of us are part of an online community bulletin board (Facebook, NextDoor) ask for personal recommendations and feedback
- Always collect and compare multiple estimates
- Is your contractor the one actually pulling the permit for the work?
- Unexpected costs are likely to arise when you’re remodeling an older home. Create a budget, and build in some room for these repairs (i’m not talking about upgrades!). Older homes can come with old wiring and plumbing that you might not have been aware of – no matter how good your home inspector. A buffer in your budget is always a good idea.
- Read reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Home Advisor and Yelp
Want to check a contractors license? Visit the state’s guide to hiring a contractor.