There are certain things to look for while interviewing contractors, besides the obvious: referrals, website, qualifications, and quality of work.
Questions that you should ask yourself after your initial walk-through:
- Did they bring an Ipad/pad of paper; are they taking notes?
- Are they taking photos? Did they ask you first if they could take photos?
- Are they taking measurements? I hear over and over again that contractors don’t take measurements. How can you price out materials and labor accurately if you don’t gather measurements?… beats me. I even confirm measurements from architect or designer plans, just to make sure that we are all operating from and ordering materials off of the same page of measurements.
- Are they asking you relevant questions? (Examples: Do you have your materials selected? Do you have a start date in mind? Have you ever renovated your home before? Will you be living here through the renovation?)
- Did they leave a business card for questions you may think of afterward?
What YOU should be asking your potential contractor during a walkthrough:
- Do you have insurance?
- What is your lead time for this type of job?
- How long do you anticipate this project to take?
- Will I be assigned a specific project manager? How often will the project manager be checking on the job? How many projects will this person have in addition to mine?
- How do you find and vet your subs?
- Do you have experience with this type of renovation?
- What are your thoughts on these materials?
- What if I want to increase the scope of the project later? What is your process for that?
- Are there any other hidden costs I don’t see in this invoice or contract?