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April
16

Contractor Questions

Whether you're tackling a home renovation or building a new home from the ground up, working with a good contractor is essential for a good outcome. At Latter & Blum, our real estate agents understand what it takes to create beautiful Lafayette homes for sale with features that attract buyers. Before you hire a contractor, it's important to ask questions that separate the pros from the rest of the pack.

  1. Are you a licensed contractor?
    Most states require licensed general contractors to register with the state where they do business. A license shows that the contractor has passed certain tests that examine state laws and building requirements. In Louisiana, you can search online for licensed contractors on the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors website.

  2. How long have you been in business?
    The number of years in business equates to professional experience and a good track record with clients. Contractors who lack work skills, experience, and satisfied clients don't stay in business very long. A long list of clients and a successful track record indicates a contractor who listens to clients, gets jobs finished on time and stays within the budget.

  3. Are you insured?
    Generally, a professional licensed contractor carries liability insurance, as well as workers' compensation insurance for workers. During an interview, ask for proof of insurance to verify coverage and liability limits. If a contractor isn't properly insured, you could be liable for accidents and injuries that occur on your property, as well damage if something goes wrong on your project.

  4. How much will my project cost?
    Prior to starting your home project, you should have a discussion with your contractor to clarify project tasks, details, and costs. A professional contractor should give you a written proposal that outlines work to be done, material costs, and labor costs. Read the proposal carefully before signing it, because it will serve as a legal agreement between you and the contractor.

  5. How long will my project take?
    The timeline of a home project from start to finish is important, because you may not be able to access certain areas while construction in underway. It's especially important if you have a busy household with children and pets or work from home on a regular basis. To ensure the timeline is met, ask your contractor to note a start date and completion date in your proposal agreement.

  6. What is your payment schedule?
    To properly budget for your project, talk to your contractor about payment terms and schedules before construction begins. The Better Business Bureau advises against paying in full upfront, and reputable contractors should not ask. Typically, an upfront payment is 30% to 50% of the project costs with additional payments in bi-weekly or monthly amounts until completion.

  7. How will you handle clean-up?
    A professional contractor will make sure that his/her crew takes care of daily clean-up duties such as removing trash and debris, putting away tools, and leaving areas in the house clean and clutter-free. If tools or equipment need to be stored on your property, a designated area should be discussed.

  8. What's the best way to reach you?
    At the beginning of your project, make sure you get your contractor's contact information including a business address, business or cell phone number, and normal work hours. If a contractor is hesitant to give you contact information, look elsewhere for someone who's more professional.

If you're interested in buying or selling in the area, contact us for more information. We can help you with your real estate needs and make sure your results are successful.

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022

Agency License Information: Latter & Blum is licensed in Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. Latter & Blum is also licensed in Texas and Mississippi.

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