Are you ready to tackle building a new home or starting a home remodel project? But are you asking yourself, where do I start? As an industry professional, I am often posed this question. I have compiled a list of five very important questions that are often forgotten when determining which contractor to hire for a project. I know some of the questions may seem like the answers are simple and straightforward, but in reality they are not.
I recently had a client ask me “Where do the designs or plans come from?” Seems simple, right? I ignored my initial impulse to teasingly tell her “they come from the design fairy godmother”, as I could hear the rising panic in her voice. I realized that this was a very good question for her to ask and I explained a few of the options she had. (We will visit these options in detail in a later blog) I know that she is not the only one who has never built a new house before and has this question on their mind. When interviewing contractors, here are five essential questions that will guide your conversation.
- Where does the design or plan come from?
- Is this an additional cost?
- Does the plan provider help with space planning and furniture layout in the planning process, and is it included?
- Does the builder assist in design selections and/or have a qualified staff designer that will go with you to guide you in making good choices based on your design aesthetic or style? (Sending you to the big box store or trusted vendor and asking you to bring them the choices so they can order does not count.)
- What is the average price per square foot in the area based on low, mid, high, or luxury, and what features can usually be expected at those levels?
- Do they know how they compare to the average?
- How do they figure allowances?
- Who holds the checkbook?
- Who writes the checks and who holds the financial liability or responsibility?
- What is the average timeframe of project based on scope or size?
- How much lead time they need or when could they start?
- How does communication and chain of command work?
- Who do I communicate with, when, and how? Hours? Text, Phone, Email?
- How and when will my concerns be addressed?
- Are there scheduled job progress conversations?
As you can see, I actually asked a lot more than five questions. Now the really big decision is how do you choose who to work with? Download my FREE Contractor Questionnaire Worksheet to guide you through all your interviews.