Building Good Contractor Relations

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There are many kinds of home improvements and many types of contractors, so finding the right company to work on your home can feel overwhelming. The scope of your project will help determine which kind of contractor to choose. If you’re looking for a whole home remodel or major addition, that’s going to lead you to certain types of contractors. Do you just want to get some minor work done? No matter the project, Enhabit offers these questions to get you started in the contractor selection process.

Nine questions you should ask any contractor before beginning a project

  1. What is your commitment to customer satisfaction?Ask the contractor how committed they are to your satisfaction what will they do if there’s a problem with the work during or after completion?
  1. What worker trainings and certifications does the company have? Beyond a contractor’s license, what training certificates certifications and other third-party endorsements does the business and it’s workers have.
  1. Is the work warrantied? Does the contractor warranty their work, the work of their subcontractors and product installations?
  1. Can you share case studies & references? Can the contractor provide any case studies or references for their work?
  1. What insurance do you carry? Is the contractor bonded and insured? It’s important to know what will happen if your home is damaged during construction.
  1. What about building permits? Will the contractor take care of all required permits and inspections? If they won’t, or they leave it up to you as a homeowner, be cautious.  Some work will not require permits, but anything that involves electrical, structural, or mechanical work probably requires a building permit.
  1. Do you subcontract work? Ask whether the contractor does all of their own work or whether they subcontract out some of the work. If they subcontractwork ask questions about the subcontractors, and how communication will be handled on the job.
  1. How do you deal with liens? A lien is a legal claim a contractor or supplier can place on your property to secure the payment of a debt. If you have paid a contractor but the contractor doesn’t pay his subcontractors, the subcontractors can place the lien on your home. A lien is serious and can adversely affect your access to future credit and even lead to foreclosure on your property. Ask your contractor how they handle liens. Every contract between you and a contractor should contain language making the contractor responsible for liens filed on the property for non-payment for work the contractor has authorized.
  1. Will I have a dedicated project manager? Communication is key to the successful completion of the project. You should have a good idea of your contractors communication style by your initial phone call and the on-site visit. If you’re concerned, ask them who they should contact if problems arise. Will there be a project manager that you’ll have direct contact with?

And, if you still have questions and would like some neutral advice, you can always schedule a phone consultation with an Enhabit Home Advisor.

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