The Ultimate Questions To Ask a Contractor Quiz

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2 min
The Ultimate Questions To Ask a Contractor Quiz
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About This Quiz

Most people who want to renovate their homes don't do the work themselves; they hire contractors. But hiring a contractor can be a stressful process, especially with construction projects notoriously running late and over budget. How can you make your construction project as pleasurable as possible? Take this quiz to see if you know what questions you should ask your contractor before construction begins.
Who licenses contractors in the United States?
a professional organization
individual states
While professional organizations may have membership standards, it is the individual states that are responsible for licensing the contractors who work in them.
the federal government

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What should you check about a contractor's relationship with his or her employees?
whether they are paid legally
A contractor who doesn't use legal labor may also be cutting corners in other areas. Plus, there may be liability issues when illegal workers are involved in the project.
whether they are paid daily, weekly or monthly
whether they like the contractor as a boss

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Why should you check whether the contractor plans to hire subcontractors?
to ensure that you know who will be responsible if the job is not done properly
Hiring subcontractors for specific tasks on your project is a perfectly legitimate practice. You should still find out, however, how much supervision the contractor is providing and whether he or she will be doing any of the work on your job.
because you should pay less if subcontractors are involved
because you could hire the subcontractors yourself

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What can you do to protect yourself from getting cheated by paying for work that doesn't get done?
ask all goods and service providers on your job for a lien release
There are various financial vehicles, including liens and payment waivers, which can protect you in case a contractor or supplier tries to take advantage of you.
get notarized contracts
nothing

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What else should you find out regarding supervision of your job site?
how many other jobs the contractor is working on simultaneously
Along with how much time the contractor expects to dedicate to your job each week, how many other jobs he or she has going at the same time can indicate how much attention your job will receive.
what the contractor's managerial style is
how many workers are expected for your job

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In addition to the job description, payments and materials to be used, what else should you make sure is in your contract with a contractor?
a timetable and the completion date
Construction jobs are notorious for falling behind schedule, so this is an important consideration to get in writing. The contract should also include details on how changes in the job will affect the completion timetable.
how many people will work on the job at a time
which suppliers the contractor will purchase materials from

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If you are not constantly present at the worksite, how should you handle updates and site visits?
schedule them in advance
show up unannounced at the site
determine with your contractor before the project begins how such issues will be handled
Most construction projects don't go 100 percent as scheduled, and the contractor is also not your enemy. Work out a plan that both of you are happy with.

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When should you sign the contract with your contractor?
as soon as the two of you agree to the job in principle
after you agree to the job description and timetable
only when all details have been worked out to your satisfaction
Although some details may seem minute, it is best if you work them all out before signing a contract. Otherwise, you may not be satisfied with the final product.

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Who is responsible to acquire building permits and Homeowner's Association approvals?
you
the contractor
Ensure that the contractor takes care of these things or you may be in for some legal troubles later. The contractor must ensure that the job complies with all regulations.
you and the contractor together

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Why should you not automatically choose the contractor who offers you the lowest price?
low prices might indicate cut corners
You should also not automatically rule out contractors who offer significantly higher price quotes. They may have noticed something significant in the job that others have overlooked.
the low price will inevitably go up once the contract is signed
contractors who offer low prices may not be reliable

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