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12 Essential Inquiries Before Selecting a General Contractor

12 Essential Inquiries Before Selecting a General Contractor

Whether you’re upgrading your home or planning a house flipping venture, securing the services of a reliable contractor is vital. The chosen contractor can significantly impact the outcome of your home improvement project. Given the substantial investment of time, money, and effort, it is crucial to identify the most suitable contractor for your needs. 

Fortunately, locating competent contractors is a manageable task when armed with the right knowledge. Opting for local contractors is advisable, and a good starting point is to consult the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which provides a list of members in your vicinity. Additionally, explore review platforms such as Angi and Consumers’ Checkbook, or visit local businesses supplying building materials to contractors, as they can offer recommendations for reputable professionals. 

Now armed with a list of potential contractors, the next step is to conduct interviews to discern the best fit for your project. To ensure you receive optimal results from your chosen contractor, consider posing the following 12 crucial questions during the interview process. 

Contractor Interview Questions

  1. Business Experience 

Inquire about the contractor’s business longevity to ensure a proven track record. Investigate their history and credentials, verifying the duration they have been operating.

  1. Licensing and Insurance:

Ascertain if the contractor possesses the required licenses and appropriate insurance. It’s crucial to ensure that the contractor holds the necessary certifications beyond just a business license. Thoroughly examine their workers’ compensation and liability insurance dedicated to the needs of your specific project.

  1. Permits and Inspections:

Seek assurance on the contractor’s willingness to secure permits and arrange necessary inspections. Understanding the project’s scope, your contractor should be well-versed in the permits required and take responsibility for obtaining them. 

  1. Project Timeline:

Emphasize the importance of transparency regarding the project timeline. Gain insights into the start and end dates, along with any potential schedule alterations. Establish clear communication channels for timely updates.

  1. Payment Structure: 

Discuss the payment schedule in detail, following the Better Business Bureau’s advice of avoiding complete upfront payments. Set terms for payments based on project milestones or specific completion stages. 

  1. Project Team Consistency:

Ensure consistency in the workforce dedicated to your project. Verify if subcontractors are involved, and if so, inquire about their qualifications and insurance coverage aligning with the main contracting company. 

  1. Communication Point: 

Identify a designated point of contact for seamless communication throughout the project. Understand their availability and preferred communication method, usually the business owner or project manager. 

  1. Post-Project Clean-Up:

Enquire about the contractor’s post-job practices, emphasizing cleanliness. A reliable contractor ensures the job site is cleaned daily, addresses trash disposal, and designates storage areas for tools and materials. 

  1. Property Protection Measures:

Delicately address the precautions taken to safeguard your property. Discuss measures such as using tarps, relocating items, or any other reasonable steps to protect your belongings during the project. 

  1. Dealing with Additional Charges:

Clarify procedures for handling unforeseen expenses. A reputable contractor commits not to exceed the budget without your approval, and this understanding should be clearly outlined in the contract. 

  1. Service and Material Warranties:

Inquire about warranties on both the contractor’s service and the materials used. Understand the coverage and duration of the warranties. Request documentation on warranties, including those provided by manufacturers. 

  1. Dispute Resolution: 

Address the potential for mistakes or disagreements. Seek assurance on the contractor’s approach to handling disputes, ensuring there’s a transparent and honorable process for resolution, even if conflicts have arisen in the past. 

Tips on Choosing a General Contractor

Visit Active Job Sites

Take the time to visit ongoing job sites. This step is crucial as it provides firsthand insight into the contractor’s work style and how they manage the site. If you observe a disorderly work environment, it’s indicative of the quality of their work. 

Evaluate Work Through Referrals 

Reviewing referrals allows you to gauge a contractor’s recent projects. While a contractor may not share subpar work, examining their recent jobs provides a practical understanding of their capabilities. Arrange with the contractor to visit their completed projects at scheduled dates and times.

Pay Attention to Responses

In addition to asking questions, pay close attention to how contractors articulate their answers. Effective communication during this phase is a strong indicator of smooth collaboration in the future. Difficulty in communication now may lead to issues down the road. 

Distinguishing between reliable and subpar contractors requires asking the right questions and conducting thorough research. By following these steps, you’ll be on the path to finding the ideal general contractor for your needs. 

Arrant Construction – Houston’s Top General Contractor Service Provider  

Experience excellence in general contractor services with Arrant Construction. Our commitment to delivering top-notch results sets us apart as industry leaders. With a proven track record of successful projects, we ensure immense attention to detail and a smooth process from start to finish. At Arrant Construction, we take pride in ourselves for providing customized solutions that enhance your construction projects. Our team’s expertise covers a wide range of construction services, providing clients in Houston with extensive support. Don’t settle for mediocrity; choose Arrant Construction for a transformative and efficient construction experience. Take the first step towards success—hire Arrant Construction TODAY and let us turn your vision into reality. 


What services do general contractors typically offer?

General contractors provide a range of construction services, including project management, site supervision, coordination of subcontractors, and overall project oversight. They ensure that your construction project is completed efficiently and meets quality standards.

How do I choose the right general contractor for my project?

To select the right general contractor, consider factors such as their experience, track record, and relevant certifications. It’s crucial to check client reviews, ask for references, and assess completed projects to gauge their expertise and reliability.

What is the typical timeline for a construction project with a general contractor?

The timeline for a construction project varies based on factors like project complexity, size, and any unforeseen issues. A general contractor will provide you with a detailed schedule during the planning phase, outlining key milestones and project duration.

How do general contractors handle project budgets?

General contractors work closely with clients to establish realistic budgets during the planning stage. They provide cost estimates, monitor expenses throughout the project, and keep clients informed of any changes. Effective budget management is a key aspect of their services to ensure projects stay on track financially.

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