5 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Contractor

May 07, 2019

 Remodeling your Northern Virginia home is a big investment, so it is critical to make sure there is an open line of communication between you and your contractor in terms of expectations, deadlines, and your remodels progress. 

Check out our new blog this week featuring 5 crucial questions to ask your contractor before signing a contract! 

Melcher 3-2

Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


1. What is my Projects Timeline?

A schedule is more than just a start and end date. Having a schedule that outlines tasks and timing will give you a big-picture view of sequencing and deadlines for things such as tile and countertops. It will also give you a benchmark so that you know if things are slipping by a day or two. 

We use a construction software called Builder Trend, which assists in managing projects on time and budget. 



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


2. Who Will Be in Charge of Progress Each Day?

 Depending on the size and structure of the company you hire, the answer could vary widely. Many remodelers use a lead carpenter system, where a staff member (sometimes called a superintendent) is responsible for day-to-day work on-site, and often swings a hammer as well. Ask your contractor direct questions about who will be responsible for opening and locking up, who will supervise subcontractors on-site and whom to call on a daily basis with any questions.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.



3. How Will My Property Be Protected?

This is a conversation best had before demolition, not after you come home and find dust all over the house. There are a number of dust containment measures that can be taken, and talking about it ahead of time will provide you with a clear idea of how the construction area will be cordoned off from the rest of your home and how you’ll be able to move through your house. 

There’s also the issue of stuff — all the books, furniture, drapes, delicate vases and paintings on the wall. It’s helpful to remove them all from the construction zone. This includes anything hung on walls or sitting on shelves in adjacent rooms, since they can shake loose from persistent hammering. If you leave them as-is, it will cost to have them moved and moved again to keep them out of the way, and you risk damage in the process. It’s better to move it all at once and know it’s safe and sound. 



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


4. What Will Happen if there is a Change Order? 

Change orders can be easily handled in your construction contract. A common way to document change orders is in writing, where the change in scope of work and the price are noted and signed by the client and contractor. 

Some contracts also note the change in schedule, if applicable. Make sure you have a plan in place to document the unexpected and expected changes that happen along the way. 



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


5. How Available Do I Need to Be? 

Even if you set up a regular weekly meeting, there may still be necessary additional meetings. We usually schedule an electrical walk-through on the day the electrician sets boxes and can lights so that everyone can review their placement and function before wires are run.

Another key day is when the tile-setter works on the layout. There are a number of ways to set tile, and having an on-site meeting is the best way to make these decisions. 


Cyncynates Bathroom 2

Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


 Interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.   

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