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12 Questions to Ask Your Contractor

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One of the main advantages of working with RenoAssistance is that we connect you with our 53-point Verified Contractors. Their licences are up to date, they have valid insurance, and all complaints, client testimonials, and lawsuits against them have been noted.

You’ll get a complete Verification Report for each contractor we recommend before they bid on your project.

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The report covers the basics, but you may want to dig a little deeper before you finalize your decision. It’s important to speak to potential contractors to get a feel for them as a person – it’ll help you determine if they’re a good fit. Need help starting the conversation? Here are 12 questions to ask your contractor.

1. Now that I’ve told you about my project, do you have any suggestions for me?

While some contractors might feel comfortable providing suggestions unprompted, others may not feel comfortable unless asked. For example, let’s say you wanted to soundproof a room by installing carpeting on the walls. Some contractors may just give you a quote; others will suggest better or more aesthetic options. If you want their opinion, just ask!

2. If this was your home or building, what would you do?

If you want the best possible advice for your project, put the contractor in your shoes. Feel free to check out our completed projects to get a feel for what our contractors can do!

3. How long will the job take?

Every contractor has their own way of getting work done. Some have small teams while others have large teams. Your project’s timeline will likely vary from one contractor to another, and this could have an impact on your decision. Don’t hesitate to ask them about the project duration.

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4. When can we start the renovation?

Each contractor has their own schedule and different projects going on at the same time. It’s important to ask for their availability; it’ll help you determine if it fits your schedule and timeline. That said, sometimes the right contractor is worth the wait!

5. Who will be my main contact, and who will be doing the work?

It’s important to know who you’ll be talking to on a day-to-day basis while the work is being done. Ideally, you should only have one point of contact. And since some contractors hire several subcontractors, you should know who to talk to if something comes up.

6. Who’s responsible for protecting the worksite and moving the furniture?

Contractors aren’t movers! You’ll need to determine who will be moving your furniture out and if this service is included in your quote. Worksite protection is usually included, but you should determine to what degree your space will be protected.

That said, even the best surface protection products won’t prevent dust; it’s practically inevitable. Thankfully, you’ll forget all about the dust when you see the gorgeous final result!

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7. Will the signed bid become the contract, or will there be a separate document once the bid is accepted?

Every detail should be outlined in the contract. If the contract differs from the quote, ask to see it before you accept the bid so that you can read through the clauses and determine if you’re okay with everything discussed. Your Renovation Advisor can help if you have any questions to ask your contractor.

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8. Is it possible to see similar renovations you’ve done?

Depending on the scale of your renovation project, you may want to see similar projects that the contractor has done. Ask them if they have a portfolio that they can show you. You can also visit their website if they have one – it’ll be listed in the Verification Report we send you.

9. Which suppliers should I get materials from?

If you have tiles, cabinetry, wood, plumbing, or other materials you need to pick out for your project, the contractor may refer you to specific suppliers they work with. You’ll want to know who they are and where they’re located as you’ll have to go there to make your choices. It’s a great opportunity to see what kind of suppliers the contractor partners with.

10. Could the price of the project go up during the work?

Ask the contractor if they foresee any circumstances that could up the total price quoted for your project. It’s best to be aware of any potential risks from the beginning.

11. How much is the down payment, and how do payments work?

Although we encourage our contractors to ask for the lowest possible upfront down payment possible (up to 15% of the total cost), they can request a different amount. That said, we don’t recommend paying more than 15%, especially not before the first day of work. Ideally, during the project, you should only be paying for what’s completed that day. This allows you to terminate the contract with ease should any issues (e.g., health problems) come up.

12. Who is responsible for clean-up and debris disposal?

Some contractors include garbage and debris disposal as part of the work, while others leave that to you. Similarly, some contractors will hire professional house cleaners at the end of the project, while others will do the bare minimum and let you handle the rest to reduce costs. These are important questions to ask your contractor; they’ll let you know what to expect.construction-container

Minimize risks, and save time and energy

By working with RenoAssistance, you’ll be referred to our 53-point Verified Contractors. We’ve checked their licences, solvency, and much more to ensure that they’re trustworthy and skilled workers. Up to three contractors will compete for your project, ensuring that you get competitive quotes.

An Advisor will help you every step of the way, from understanding the scope of your project to analyzing your quotes. Our service comes at no cost or obligation to you, so there’s nothing to lose!

If you want to go it alone, this list of questions to ask your contractor should help with the vetting process. Be sure to check everything about their business, like their licenses, to ensure that you’re hiring someone reputable for your project!