Quarve Contracting
Monday 22 July 2013

What to Ask A Home Improvement Contractor Before Work Starts

Posted by at 9:00 AM

Finding a Minneapolis contractor to do your exterior home remodeling project - such as installing a new roof - can be tricky, but when you know the right questions to ask, you can find the right one for you faster.  Inspect the Contractor's Paperwork Before you sign on with a company, you should get the following information from them, to ensure they’re trustworthy enough to do the job properly for you.
  • License:  The contractor must be willing to provide you with proof of  license.  The State of Minnesota requires residential building contractors to be licensed by the state, and some local governments have licensing requirements as well.
  • Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance:  To protect yourself from responsibility if a worker is injured or property is damaged, make sure the contractor carries insurance for both worker’s compensation and liability.
  • Written Lien Waiver:  Once the work is done, you should be provided with written proof that you had paid the contractor (and that they  have paid for all materials and any subcontractor's work) and that they will not place a mechanic’s lien on your property somewhere down the line.
  • Building Permits:  Since permits must be pulled to ensure safe work, make sure the company is willing to obtain them for you. If they’re not, it may show that they’re not in good standing with the local building department.
  • Guarantee:  Ask what kind of guarantees they offer. They should be willing to guarantee their work for at least a year, if not longer, in addition to any manufacturer's material warranties.
Past Business and Operations Once they’ve proven their paperwork is in order, it’s time to delve into the contractor’s history.
  • References and Experience:  When asked, home improvement companies should be willing to provide you with references of jobs from the past six months to year. You should also get information about their banker and accountant to make sure they’re in good financial shape.
  • Avoid Messy Work:  Before any work starts, ask how the contractor keeps the worksite clean and how they contain dust. At the very least, they should be willing to notify you of when the most dust will be generated, so you can make other plans. If your home was built before 1978, lead dust may be a concern, and the contractor should have the qualifications and expertise to deal with it safely.  The State of Minnesota as well as the federal EPA has certification requirements, so if you've got an older home, ask for proof of lead-safe certification.
When you hire a contractor to do improvements on your home, you're putting your most valuable investment in someone else's hands.  A little homework and diligence before your project begins can go a long way to giving you peace of mind and getting the outcome you're looking for. At Quarve Contracting we understand that taking good care of our customers is the most important job we do.  If you're wondering how we do at it, we'd be happy to put you in touch with some of our satisfied clients.