Whether you’re building a new house, restoring an older residence or renewing your current abode — starting any home project is a deeply personal affair, which makes selecting the builder behind it so important. Finding and vetting the right builder for you can take some time, but it's one of the first essential steps you’ll have to make before you can begin work. Along with asking about costs and checking their credentials, Marshall Hickox of Homeworks Construction suggests using a list of questions to help you with the selection process. Here are eight he recommends you to ask.

1. What’s your current amount of work?
2. Once the permit is issued, how soon can work start?
3. How do you communicate the scheduling and will you provide a detailed schedule?
4. How often will the schedule be updated?
5. Will a time be set for a regularly scheduled meeting? “Scheduled weekly meetings are important with the project manager,” shares Hickox.
6. Who are the secondary contacts in case a project manager is not available or in case of emergency?
7. Can you provide a reference or two for similar types of projects that are completed or near completion in the last year? “You don’t want to know how the company was doing two years ago, you want to know how they are doing today,” says Hickox.
8. What can we expect as out-of-pocket costs? While most are typically explained in the agreement, a contractor can specifically tell you just in case something is missing, for instance, who’s paying for the permits or any small fees like filing affidavits, shares Hickox.
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