Three questions you should be asking your contractor

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As anybody who watches any amount of HGTV can attest, home renovations can be the quickest way to give your space a pick-me-up. But whether you’re making a few cosmetic tweaks or going for the kitchen reno of your dreams, it’s important to work with somebody you trust. 

To give you all the info you need to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a contractor, we went straight to the source—Carl Perry, a contractor and small business owner from the Moncton area.

Carl’s a licensed plumbing inspector and a trained and licensed carpenter with 15 years of experience. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about load-bearing walls, the importance of measuring twice and cutting once, and just about anything else you might need to know when it comes to tackling a renovation project in your home. We asked Carl to share the most important questions you should be asking a contractor before hiring them for a job.

1. Do they have the proper credentials?

Your first step should be to ask for work samples, references, and licenses. It may seem fairly obvious, but it’s important to know what they’re capable of before signing a work order. Ask for photos of previous jobs or projects. Get the names and phone numbers of other satisfied clients and talk to them about their experience. And make sure you’re working with a certified professional.

2. Do they keep up with the trends?

Ask prospective contractors how they stay on top of changing trends and evolving techniques. Just like any other industry, technology evolves within the construction industry, too. New methods and technology can save time, and more importantly, money. So working with somebody who is well-versed in what’s happening is ideal. And the same goes for staying on top of trends—if your contractor still thinks the height of style is shag carpeting and faux-wood panelling, it might be time to move on (unless that's your style!). 

3. Are there other contractors or tradespeople involved?

Depending on the project, it’s sometimes quicker and/or better from a budget perspective if multiple contractors work together on a project. Not every contractor is a Jack or Jill of all trades, so hiring subcontractors is a fairly common practice. But make sure you know who else is being brought in to work on a job in your home and ask them the same questions.

In general, when in doubt—ask. It’s always better to ask questions, get multiple quotes, and do your research before starting a project rather than after the work has been started.

Credit unions also offer Total Access Home Equity™, which is a convenient and flexible way to manage all of your credit needs under one mortgage product, putting the equity in your home to work for you. This allows you to borrow against the equity in your home and consolidate all of your loans into one. Our members use their Total Access Home Equity™ for vehicles, renovations, education, lines of credit, and even as a source of capital to purchase a second home or cottage.

If you need a little help getting started with the financial side of things and finally getting that new deck or replacing the roof on the garage, contact your local credit union to get started.