Be sure and ask these 9 important questions and get the answers you want to hear before you agree to any work with a builder or contractor.
1.) Are you licensed to do work in Michigan?
The first and most important thing when building in West Michigan is to ask the contractor if they are properly licensed. Don’t be shy in asking for a hard copy of their state issued license. If for some reason the company says they can not provide you with one, then this is cause for serious concern and reconsideration. Also pay careful attention to who’s name the licence is under.
Look up Pushaw Builders at https://www2.dleg.state.mi.us/colaLicVerify/ for verification of proper licensing in Michigan.
2.) Tell me about your work history
Continuing from the last point, also ask about their work history. Ask them if at any point in their past they got their license revoked or suspended for any reason. If so make sure that you inquire why and think long and hard about weather it is worth it to keep working with them.
Pushaw Builders will be happy to provide proper history of Michigan builders licensing and permits.
3.) Are you properly insured?
Liability Insurance: Asking about general liability insurance is a very important question when beginning a build or remodel. This is another thing that you will want to ask for a hard copy of. If they are not able to provide this information then immediately rethink your decision working with this company. When a company is not able to prove their insurance it usually means that if they mess up they wont be able to compensate for their damage done to your house or property.
Compensation Insurance: Making sure a contractor has compensation insurance is also very important. The reason being if anyone gets injured while working on your house you will have to pay for the medical bill if they are not properly insured. The only way around this is if the company is single person work crew. In this instance they can file for an exemption from workers compensation insurance. If this is the case make sure to ask for their proof of exemption. The risky thing about this is that if they bring a helper on board at any time, you will be liable for that helper if that person gets injured.
All of Pushaw Builders insurance information will be provided upon request.
4.) Will you provide past client information?
Don’t be afraid to ask for contact information from previous home remodeling clients around Grand Haven and other West Michigan properties. These people will be the best insight for what to expect when working with this company.
Pushaw Builders is excited to provide a list of previous clients on the work we’ve done around the community.
5.) Is your work guaranteed?
Many people overlook this question. A verbal agreement of guaranteed work can only go so far. If you pay a company you’re last payment and they decide to cash it and stop working there may be nothing you can do about it. Making sure an agreement of work is written and signed is work the extra effort in the long run.
Pushaw Builders will do anything to make sure the client feels safe with entrusting us in their building and renovation needs.
6.) Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
Asking a company or person if they have ever filed for bankruptcy is very important question. If they that puts up an immediate red flag, and will require further research and inquiry as to why they had to file for bankruptcy.
Pushaw Builders would be happy to provide documentation that we never filed for Bankruptcy.
7.) Can you provide Lien Waivers?
Making sure your contractor has paid all of his suppliers and sub contractors is an issue far to often overlooked. Asking for a list of their suppliers should be no problem. Contact these suppliers and make sure that the company has paid each of them in full. When these suppliers and subcontractors a lien can be placed on your house making you responsible for paying them what the contractor didn’t.
Pushaw Builders are ready to provide clients with a list of our suppliers for reassurance and peace of mind.
8.) Can you provide us with work samples?
A company should be able to provide you with many samples of their work. This is also a great indication of what to expect from this company or person. Photos taken before and after a build are definitely something to be looking for. With West Michigan being on a coast line this also gives you and idea of what kind of building styles that the contractor is able to do. Beach homes are very common and the styling can vary more than that of a regular home.
Pushaw Builders have an extensive archive of photos of our West Michigan homes that we have built and renovated. We would love to show them to you.
9.) What will the total costs of my project be?
Make sure to get a really good estimate of what your house is going to cost. There should be multiple pages of each and every expense so you know exactly what you’re paying for. This assures that there isn’t any misunderstandings about pricing and spending.
Pushaw Builders are happy to sit down with each client and make sure that both parties are on the same page and the build goes as smooth as possible.