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Hiring a Contractor: Top 9 Questions to Ask a General Contractor in Scottsdale

Hiring a Contractor: Top 9 Questions to Ask a General Contractor in ScottsdalePhoto from Unsplash

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Are you planning a big construction project?

Whether you’re building a custom home from the ground up or planning a big renovation, you’ll need the help of a general contractor to make sure your vision comes to fruition.

A great contractor can make all the difference when you’re trying to complete a project. But, how do you find such a contractor?

Listed below are nine of the most important questions to ask a general contractor in Scottsdale before you hire them.

Why Hire a General Contractor?

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your current one, hiring a general contractor can make the process significantly easier.

Some of the greatest benefits that come from hiring a general contractor include:

  • They serve as a single point of contact and accountability, so you won’t have to deal with coordinating individual suppliers and tradesmen
  • They handle issues like schedule changes and inspections for you
  • They have years of knowledge and experience, especially regarding building codes and local legislation that’s relevant to your project
  • Your project will likely be completed faster
  • They have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance, so there’s less risk should something go wrong
  • They typically offer a warranty on your project
  • They can get labor and materials at a lower price than you could on your own

Finally, general contractors know how to deal with the unexpected. They won’t get bent out of shape when something goes wrong and will know how to get things back on track as quickly as possible.

Questions to Ask a General Contractor

Clearly, hiring a general contractor is important. But, how do you make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job?

To start, ask them the following questions when you’re interviewing them.

The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about your potential contractor’s trustworthiness, reliability, and skill level.

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

This is one of the first questions you should ask a potential contractor before hiring them. Their answer tells you a lot about their experience level and their dedication to their craft.

It’s also helpful to find out how long they’ve been working in your specific area. If they’ve been there for a while, they’re probably more familiar than a younger contractor with issues like building codes and inspections.

2. Have You Worked on Projects Like This Before?

It’s best to find a general contractor who has experience working on similar projects to the one you’re trying to accomplish.

Every contractor has different specialties — some focus on small-scale projects like bath and kitchen renovations, while others focus on large-scale projects like commercial buildings or custom homes.

Before you hire a contractor, find out what their specialty is and make sure it matches up with your needs.

3. How Do You Manage Your Scheduling?

Scheduling can be a nightmare when you’re working on a big project and don’t have a reliable contractor on your team.

Find out how your potential contractor manages scheduling issues before you decide to hire them. What kind of scheduling tools do they use? Do they utilize any kind of digital options that help you communicate and see what’s going on?

These tools aren’t essential, of course, but they can definitely be helpful, especially if you’re someone who likes to stay on top of your projects.

4. Can You Give Me an Estimated Timeline for the Project?

A good general contractor will provide you with a detailed timeline for your project. It should include information on each step of the project and should account for potential delays (inclement weather, late deliveries, etc.).

If they can’t give you this, you probably shouldn’t work with them.

5. How Can I Communicate with You During the Project?

Some contractors aren’t great communicators. This can be incredibly frustrating and make your project a lot more difficult.

Look for a contractor who encourages open communication between all of the project’s stakeholders. Be sure to find out their preferred communication methods and availability, too.

Do they only communicate by text, or can you call them? Are there specific hours when you can call them? Can you reach them directly, or do you have to call their office?

6. How Do You Handle Site Supervision?

It’s also important to find out who is going to be on-site to supervise the project. Ideally, your contractor will spend plenty of time on-site making sure tasks are completed properly.

Find out how much time they typically spend and look for someone who takes more of a hands-on approach. This is a sign that they’re invested in the project and want to make sure everything is completed safely and correctly.

7. How Do You Settle Project Disputes?

Sometimes, disputes come up, especially during big projects. Come up with a resolution plan ahead of time, before anything goes wrong. That way, you’ll know exactly how to handle the issue and can keep delays and additional charges to a minimum.

8. How Much Will I Pay Upfront?

It’s a show of good trust in your contractor to pay something upfront. But, if they charge too much, it could be a sign that they don’t have the financial capacity to start the project without you.

Every contractor has a different amount that they require you to pay at the beginning of the project. Be sure to compare rates from a few different candidates to make sure you’re being charged a fair price.

9. Will You Have Me Sign a Contract?

Finally, make sure they will have you sign a comprehensive contract that carefully details the requirements, specifications, and deadlines associated with your project.

This will protect you and them from any potential incidents. It also ensures the quality of your project and establishes a budget ahead of time.

If they don’t have you sign a contract, run the other way.

Are You Ready to Hire a General Contractor?

Now that you know which questions to ask a general contractor, it’s time to start looking for the perfect person to help you build or remodel your house.

If you’re looking for a great general contractor in Scottsdale, contact us at Peak One Builders today to learn more about our services or request a free project estimate.


Are you thinking of building a luxury home? To ensure that your custom home building process goes smoothly, you will want to go with the best builder! Peak One Builders is a top residential general contractor in Scottsdale.  Contact us to set up a free consultation! Call 480-378-0611 today.


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