You may also want to ask it like this; “If I gave you this job and it’s a 60 day job, how are you going to communicate with me?” If they say, “I’ll call you daily and tell you what we’ve done or I can call you weekly or we can do a job site visit each week”, those are pretty good answers. What type do you recommend they have and how much coverage is enough. Is the amount of coverage based on the value of the house you’re flipping or some other criteria. Report comment. Those is an excellent list. Purpose: This document equips property owners with basic knowledge, consumer protection, and questions to ask when . People who ask me a ton of questions are savvy and feel completely confident they’ve made the right choice when they hire my company: if you’re not sure how to vet your potential contractors, take a leaf out of their book. (Don’t ask me why I know this, but it includes a twenty-two year old me, a shoddy rental unit, and an overly eager realtor who said sure, he’d love it if I would remove the wallpaper and repaint the bathroom.) I went for the cheap quote and got burned! How is your company organized? ... You should be comfortable talking to your contractor about your concerns and your successes. Another basic one that you MUST ask. I will keep these questions in mind thanks! Your question about whether the contractor has insurance suggests finding out what type of insurance and how much coverage they have is great. The two biggest resistances you have to overcome in business are time and money. Your contractor should be willing to take reasonable measures to protect your property, so be sure to ask what specifically he’ll do: Thanks to technology advancements, contractors are able to give more accurate pricing than ever before. He will just move on to another project. However, it’s an important one that you’ll need to ask in advance of construction. Just to be safe, we’ve also put together a free cheat sheet with 18 more questions that we have handpicked to ensure that you really leave the hiring manager impressed. If you ask this one, you'd rather have them tell you up front that way you're not surprised by anything later on. The contractor you choose is one of the most important parts of your project but before you get started, here are the things to ask a contractor. Your welcome Kerry. I then pick up the phone and call my guy and he starts blaming the sub or blaming this one and that one…everyone except himself. The trick is to casually, or informally ask these questions while showing him around the project site. And do you discuss it upfront with the contractor? I figure it could be offensive to someone that hasn’t and someone who has will just lie about it and hope you don’t check. In that process, I noticed that I tended to ask the same general questions to anyone I interview to work with my house flipping team . Instead you should have them provide a bid for the work you need done, so you can compare the cost of material and labor with other bids, to make an informed decision. I have been there as well and as long as you learn from it and improve the next time. With this question, you’re able to gauge as to how fast you can get your job done. thanks. Here are 15 killer interview questions to help: 1. Cool. Having said that, I wouldn't start off an interview by asking questions like that – but a quick background check on the Internet will turn up the answer to this one fairly easily, as will the disciplinary action question as well. For us, there’s no way I could ever get to the goal of 48 unless I had a really strong team of contractors. What is your philosophy in building a home? General Interview Questions to Ask Construction Project Managers With any interview, there are general questions that cover the basics and can set the right tone for the interview. So, who do I write this check to? 5 Questions To Ask Your Contractor . All you care about is your job, so make sure he can handle it and hit your deadlines. Preferably one that I did not already work with as none of them really warrant dealing with again. This is why the site visit in the interview process is so important because you see first hand how the site looks. In that visit, you’ll get a quick sense as to how their offices run and see how things operate internally. I liked that you included asking contractors how they clean up their job site. I have learned the hard way about having a good contractor! “We go to market by having raving fans and having customers that glow about us,” Hall said. What's your work routine like? If they have large pieces of equipment they plan on storing in your home every evening, be sure to discuss where they will be kept and how they will be transported there. Not taking the time to check a license is one of the biggest problems I see new rehabbers having issues with. Ensure that it is current (not expired). After all, not only are you letting this person and their crew in your home, but you'll also likely be giving them a lot of money. This is something that will be good for us to know so that we will be able to make sure our budget is able to match it and know how much of it is due at certain times. Your contractor should not only know what kind of permits you need and how to get them, but also be willing to pull them for you. “It keeps me on my toes when people have a ton of questions,” agreed Craig Gouker, Manager of Craig Gouker Roofing in Pittsburgh. Michael, your list of questions is a great starting point for hiring a new contractor. Acing investor meetings and landing that funding is as much about the questions you ask, as the answer you have to what investors will grill you with. If you tell a contractor that your budget is $20,000 they will find a way to make their bid $20,000, even if it should be lower. Unfortunately, this is a tougher question to ask, but one that you should ask, albeit gingerly. Please leave a comment and share your questions — or ask me anything you’d like about flipping houses! That\’s a really important thing to me when renovating my home. If you’ve made it this far, please leave a comment below! But meeting with contractors can be a significant time commitment for both you and all involved. Can I get that in writing? Great article, Mike! So… I now have an offer in on a second property and am scrambling to find a contractor for this one. Contracting businesses that have been in operation for many years have certainly worked through a lot of the growing pains that many companies deal with in their fledgling years. I can see why this would be nice to know so that you aren\’t caught off guard when unfamiliar people are walking around your house. I have had my share of bad contractors so I know what your feeling. In house carpenters, paints, labor, etc.? Thanks for your opinion. This is a crucial question because, unfortunately, mistakes and disagreements do sometimes occur despite the best intentions of contractors and homeowners. 8. So I have some contracting in my future! 20 Things To Ask Commercial Contractors. Very important and very much overlooked here for the new investor. Have the contractor tell you each day what to expect and ask what they need from you. Connect with 1,000,000+ real estate investors! I’d agree with Sharon and others that understanding the best ways to deal with establishing a payment and work inspection schedule could go a long way to resolving many of the problems that I have personally experienced. This is a great way to not just HEAR what they do, but SEE what they do as well. While this is certainly true, some consumers may opt to go with someone who has years of experience in the industry but is a relatively new business owner. Reply -Richard M.-. (glued) directly over existing ceramic tile. Usually split up by time metrics and meeting those dates before payment is issued. Start analyzing real estate properties, we do the math for you. When they do become available, be prepared to spend a lot of money. 7. Who will be at the site and how will it be supervised? Here is a list to help you gather essential information when choosing a contractor: 1. Would you suggest this or is waiting better? You mightt also check their license status and complaints If you don;t ask, you will never get the answer. Thanks for adding your comments. Everyone may do this different and do what they feel is the right approach and not all the questions may be necessary. Consider arranging for you to direct purchase the major materials. Report comment. Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor, Landscape Architect & Designer Hiring Guide: Differences & Interview Questions, Interviewing Your Contractor: Preliminary Screening Tips. Does your contractor plan on doing any of the actual labor, or is he or she mainly performing in a supervisory role? I’d suggest you ask it because it happens more than you’d think in this trade. I never thought about asking my contractor for a list of references, that seems really simple and really effective. I know I never stop. Before paying a contractor thousands upon thousands of dollars to build or remodel your home, you'd better be damned sure they know what they're doing and won't leave a disaster on your hands. Now more than ever, it is clear that “working smarter, not harder” is enabling companies to take fairly limited pools of resources and turn them into something exponentially more valuable. Part of keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace once the team has left for the day includes putting tools away. Hi Amy – I agree with you in many respects to that. Do you clean it up?” And then they may say yes or give you some kind of half-answer, then you might say, “Would it be an issue if I wanted my job sites cleaned up at the end of every day?” See what he says and make your decision. If they don’t agree, find out why not and see if you can negotiate least changes that are acceptable to you. Great article. Personally, we have a goal of doing 48 renovations in 2014 – a little trick I’m using here to state in publicly to force me to achieve my goals btw :-). The final payment is leverage for you to make sure job is 100% complete before paying and that is motivation for them to finish for sure. This week’s blog is covering the questions to ask your contractor. I’ve just managed to get through my first rehab – while living in it – and have been burned by a number of contractors in almost every way you can imagine – paid final payment at the 80% stage, and still only have 80% of the wiring work done, no shows, poor definition of scope, requesting extra money because “it is harder and taking longer than expected”, damage to furniture, use of my own tools… the list goes on. Before hiring a contractor, you’ve got to know what questions to ask before signing a contract. Personal question, but important. Picked up a few good things I don’t specifically ask about. The bottom line is, if you don’t trust what you’re being told, investigate it. You’ve taken the first step toward living in a space that’s uniquely yours. Quick question for you… Don’t lead on this question by saying; “Do you clean up your job site daily?” Of course, he’ll say yes. I\’ll have to make sure she asks the contractor this before they start the project. Further key questions center on work-site presence. Expertise: Flipping Houses, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Mortgages & Creative Financing. I have the same questions as Sharon. It’s good to know that when it comes to asking the right questions that one thing we need to inquire about is what the payment schedule will be like. It would also be beneficial to find a contractor who has worked on projects similar to yours before for increased success. Find local real estate meetups and events in your area. This is a really good to know because you’ll get a quick understanding of the complexity of what they can do. 4. First and foremost always make sure to conduct a thorough research, by consulting with your peers, friends and family with, look at sites like BBB where people usually provide feed-backs and reviews for construction projects. Like Ralph said we tend to go 1/3 terms. When you speak to the contractor’s desk, you submit your order to them. I also agree with Ethan, to research about the contractor, how their previous client rates them and to also check the feedback. Popular TV shows may make home renovations look easy, but sometimes parts of the project are best left to the pros. Enclosed is that list so you can achieve your real estate investing goals in 2014, whatever they may be. Depending on where the rehab is to where you’re located, the answer to this question could be varied. Also, if the general contractor is subbing things out, make sure you ask to get copies of lien releases when the sub is paid. Avoid Disappointment and Disaster During Your Kitchen Remodel. Do you have insurance? I would not want to scare them off and start out on the wrong foot by digging so deep. Free Mobile Apps I wish I would have had a similar list before starting my FHA 203k renovation a few years ago. But certainly you have the right to ask them. Also, do you pay contractor upfront or how is it done? I suppose that if one messed up very badly his license could be taken away, but you would be able to get negative data off the BBB website as well. Are you conducting an interview in the near future? Using a phrase of random words (like: paper Dog team blue) is secure and easy to remember. Good to hear Lisa. What is your recommendation on the best time to do the interview? Very helpful post. 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