Checklist: Everything You Need Before Hiring a Contractor

Posted by Devon Shryock

Whether you're thinking of building a new house from the ground up, or just wanting to redo your kitchen, home renovations can be a big undertaking. It takes careful planning and consideration before investing in home improvements. The first step is to find a contractor who can see your vision and deliver. But how do you know if you've found the right contractor? Here's an easy-to-use checklist with everything you should consider and ask before hiring a contractor:

What You Need to Know

  • What is your budget?
    • Nothing should happen until you know how much you can spend — and want to spend. A new kitchen should never come at the expense of busting your budget. If you have a target bottom line in mind, it will make meeting with prospective contractors far less stressful.
  • What do you want your home to look like?
    • This can be as simple as having a few style terms or pictures of a style you like. A design and build contractor can help turn your ideas into a reality.
    • If you already have a blueprint, a good contractor will be able to make that design happen.
    • Just like getting a haircut, pictures can be extremely helpful in showing the way.
  • What do you not want?
    • If you know you hate brushed bronze fixtures, don't let yourself be talked into a bronze faucet!

What to Ask

  • Can you offer an itemized contractor bid? This is to help you compare competing bids, which includes but isn't limited to:
    • Demolition
    • Framing
    • Carpentry
    • Plumbing
    • Electricity
    • HVAC
    • Floor covering installations
    • Light fixtures
    • Drywall
    • Painting
  • Where do you get supplies?
  • Do you have any references I can call?
    • We can't stress enough how important this question is. If a contractor is unwilling (or unable) to give you a referral, cross them off your list of contenders.
  • Can I meet the team or the foreman in advance?
    • Making contact with those who will actually be in your house starts that important line of communication.
    • Be sure to ask about the team's habits. Do they clean up before they go each day? What hours will they be at your house working?

The relationship between contractor and homeowner is essential to a successful project. The right contractor for your next home project should be able to work with you to create your dream kitchen, bathroom, addition or house!

Here at S.E.A. Construction, we're always striving to make your construction experience smoother. That's why we're rolling out a new computer system to manage all new construction jobs. The system gives our clients real-time access to their projects, including cost estimates, planning, scheduling, daily updates, schedule changes (in real time!), billing and more! The system even gives clients the ability to enter change order requests, which reduces turn-around time and prevents loss of vital information.

This all means you, the client, homeowner and all-around VIP, can have direct access to your project — including your design and build team! It will keep you up-to-date, fully informed and provide peace of mind from the project estimate to the sign off and final warranty.

If you have a new project you're considering or want to discuss, give us a call. We would love to speak with you about your ideas and dream for remodeling or new construction. Don't forget to bring your checklist!

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