Essential Questions to Ask Your Contractor to Ensure the Job Is Finished on Time

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Questions to Ask Your Contractor

If you are having some renovations done, you deserve to have a reasonable timeline. However, it is hard for contractors to commit to the timelines that homeowners often expect. You can avoid disappointment and get a better outcome with these tips to get your contractor to finish the job on schedule.

Get Educated About the Process

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Source: forbes.com

Before you hire a contractor, it helps to read everything you can about the renovation process. You should know how long it takes to accomplish each step of the renovation. This includes such things as carpentry, drywall, and painting. Your goal should be to develop a realistic understanding of how long the process takes.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor:

What can delay the completion of a task? How will you stay on schedule?  How days will each step take? How often is the ‘big boss’ on-site to monitor the team’s progress?

Find Out About the Number of Workers and Outside Contractors

Your contractor may not have a dedicated team for your project. Instead, they may rotate people in and out as needed based on the task at hand. This is why projects sometimes get bogged down. Furthermore, a renovation also includes such things as plumbing services and electricity, which may need to be done by an outside contractor. In this case, the work can come to a screeching halt if the specialist isn’t available at the right time. You can lose days or weeks if this happens.  

Questions to Ask Your Contractor:

How many people are on the team? What other jobs will be in process at the same time? How can we get the plumber or electrician when we need them to keep the schedule on track? 

Ask for a Timeline

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Source: northernvirginiamag.com

When you ask for an estimate, ask for a timeline. That way you will know from the beginning how much time your contractor expects the job to take. If you are getting several estimates and the timelines vary widely, this may be a clue as to which contractor is a good fit. In some cases, the longer timeline may represent a more realistic approach to the job. In others, it may be evidence that the contractor plans to draw out the process and possibly squeeze more money out of it.  

Questions to Ask:

What problems are anticipated? How might weather conditions affect the ability of the team to do their job? 

Find Out About Preparation

Preparation is important, but many contractors and homeowners don’t take it into account. There may be delays in getting the specific materials you need. Time may be needed to secure the house against dust during construction. Access mats may need to be laid out in the yard to protect your topsoil. These crane mats can provide a temporary road. They may even be needed to protect your driveway from the weight of heavy machinery. 

Questions to Ask:

What steps will be taken to keep the house and yard clean? How will the lawn and plants be protected?  Will any trees need to be trimmed or removed to accomplish the renovation?

Get Information About Equipment Ownership and Rentals

If your contractor uses certain equipment only a few days a month, they may choose to rent it. If so, you deserve to know how difficult it will be to get the equipment and how that may affect your timeline.  

Questions to Ask Your Contractor:

How will the equipment be used? Is it owned by the company? How will you make sure that the equipment is ready when needed?

Start Renovations in Spring or Summer

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Source: dtcn.com

In many cases, you want to start your renovations in the spring or summer. Basically, you want to avoid the type of delays that occur with bad weather. Since that happens most often during the fall or winter, you want to start renovation during the best weather, even if the project is indoors.

Painting, for instance, is best done when outdoor conditions are dry. Stormy weather is not ideal when moving materials from the store to home. Plus, bad weather may force workers to stay at home or go home early. 

Questions to Ask Your Contractor:

When is the best time to start renovations? How will weather affect progress? Can I be notified about work delays?

Cover Your Concerns in the Contract

If possible, cover your concerns about these issues in the contract negotiations with your renovation team. You should have a reasonable timeline and also have a good idea of what could cause delays. Then you should get a commitment from the contractor about how to handle delays. If you get regular updates as part of your renovation projects, you will know when work is slowing down and when it is meeting targets. Be sure to ask who will provide these updates.

By being proactive in discussions with your contractor and realistic in your expectations, you can probably see the renovation to completion with less stress.  That will certainly give you more value for your money.

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