What You Need from a Contractor

When you’re ready to start your remodeling or renovation project on your new home, one of the most important decisions you need to make is hiring the right contractors. Choosing incorrectly can mean the difference between a job done well and on time and a project that becomes a source of anxiety and a financial drain. 

Where do you start?

The first thing to consider is whether you want to hire a general contractor or multiple individual contractors. A general contractor, like M&K Renovations, is responsible for overseeing the entire construction or renovation project. We hire contractors who are thoroughly vetted, create the timeline, solve all scheduling conflicts and any complications that may arise during the process of the project, and communicate with the client every step of the way.

When you hire a general contractor, you only need to remember one phone number to call with questions – ours. Once we’ve worked through your design and received all the information from you that we need, we take everything off your shoulders and take responsibility for making sure your project is completed with the highest standard of quality, on time, and within budget. 

You may also choose to hire your own contractors and be your own general contractor. In this case, you should begin by interviewing at least three contractors.   

What do you need to ask a contractor?

When interviewing potential contractors, you’ll want to ask a number of questions, including:

  • What’s your experience with jobs like mine? Can you give me a list of references of customers who have had similar work done?
  • How many employees do you have and would you be likely to hire a subcontractor?
  • Are you willing to include a lien waiver or subcontractor lien waiver in the contract? (The answer should be yes.)
  • Will you obtain all the necessary permits for the job? (The answer should be yes.)
  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded? (The answer should be yes.)
  • How do you communicate with your clients during the project?
  • Will I have to leave the house while you work?
  • What steps do you take to protect the exterior/rest of the house while you work, and what is your daily clean-up policy?
  • What is your expected time frame for beginning and completing my job?
  • What is included in your estimate, how close are you usually to your estimates, and what possible complications do you foresee that could change the estimate? How can we mitigate or prevent them from happening?
  • What are the payment terms/schedule of payment?
  • Have you ever declared bankruptcy, been sued, or operated under a different name? (A “Yes” to any of these questions does not automatically disqualify a contractor, but it should encourage closer scrutiny.)


What do you need from a contractor?

The following documents should be acquired from the contractor you choose:

  • Draft of the contract for review before signing
  • Construction drawings
  • Construction schedule
  • Scope of Work statement, defining each component of work, techniques or methods, materials to be used, and the procedure for handling change orders
  • Detailed cost estimates of labor and materials, fees, taxes, and other hard and soft costs
  • Bond from a surety company for your project, which you will sign, a copy of insurance information, and license numbers


Ensuring success for your project

All of these questions should be asked of each contractor your hire, and each should be able to provide you with the appropriate documents. This can be quite overwhelming to a homeowner, which is why we are in the general contractor business. With decades of experience in construction and remodeling, we’ve seen projects go wrong because poor-quality contractors were chosen by trusting homeowners. We’ve also heard of jobs getting drawn out for months, sometimes because even just one piece of the puzzle went wrong and the rest of the work stopped until it was fixed. We hate to see that.

As general contractors, it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen. We work constantly to make sure each project is performed by highly qualified craftsmen and experts in every field needed to complete your project without a hitch. Call us today at (610) 353-2895 to talk about your project. We’ll answer any questions you have and give you the peace of mind that your dream project will be completed to your absolute satisfaction and delight.


Renovating the Philadelphia Area for Over 16 years