Before hiring a carpenter – or any home contractor, for that matter – there are a few questions to ask before you settle on the person to handle your home improvement job. Like auto mechanics, carpenters can do shoddy work that – unless it contains an obvious error – you won’t notice until it’s too late. Ask these questions to find your perfect carpenter.
Do You Specialize in THIS Kind of Work?
As discussed in the article “Degrees for People Who Like to Work with Their Hands,” carpenters do all kinds of different work on all kinds of different projects. Many are competent in several areas, but you want a specialist. Are you getting your cabinets redone? Ask how many cabinet installations they’ve done in the last 18 months.
Will I Need Regulation, Zoning or Planning Permission?
Whether or not your home improvement job is among those that requires special licensing or municipal approval – such as the extension of a deck – is something you should look into yourself. But also ask your home improvement contractor. Not only may he or she know something you missed, but it’s a good way to get a grasp on your carpenter’s experience and overall general knowledge.
What Steps Will You Take to Ensure Deadlines are Met?
A home improvement project can always cost more and take longer than you thought. The worst jobs involve seemingly endless weeks and months of your home becoming an impromptu construction site with a never-ending stream of strangers traipsing in and out of your partially-destroyed house. What’s the timeline, and what will they do to ensure that it is met?
Your home contractor should be able and willing to answer all of these questions, as well as to provide references and work histories. Always check to make sure their credentials and licenses are in good standing and use common sense. Check their references, and ask the above questions before you hire.