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What Type of Questions Should You Ask Your General Contractor on a First Meeting?

Are you planning a major renovation or home improvement project in the near future? If so, you'll want to take the time to find the right general contractor for the job. During your initial meeting with a potential contractor, it's important to ask a variety of questions. Not only will this help you get a better sense of the contractor's experience and qualifications, but it will also allow you to establish open communication and build trust right from the start. With that in mind, here are some essential questions you should ask your general contractor during your first meeting.

Do You Have Insurance, License and WCB?:

Before you enter into any agreement with a contractor, you'll want to make sure they are licensed and insured. A reputable contractor will always carry the appropriate insurance policies to protect their clients and themselves from any issues that may arise during the project. In addition, they should be registered with the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) to protect their workers in case of injury on the job.

What Experience Do You Have With This Type of Project?:

Not all contractors have experience with every type of home renovation or improvement project. Make sure you ask the contractor about their specific experience and expertise in the type of project you have in mind. Ask for references, and take the time to actually follow up with those references to get a better sense of how the contractor performs on the job.

Can You Provide References From Previous Clients?:

A reputable contractor should have no problem providing you with references from previous clients. Follow up with these references to get an idea of how the contractor works and their level of professionalism

What's Your Timeline and Payment Schedule?:

Make sure you and your contractor are on the same page when it comes to the project timeline and payment schedule. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the project plan, including start and end dates, and what happens if there are any delays or unforeseen issues that arise during the project. You'll also want to discuss payment options with the contractor and ensure that your payment plan aligns with their timeline and expectations.

Who Will Be On-Site for the Project?:

It's important to know who will be working on your project and who will be responsible for overseeing the work. Find out if the contractor works with a team or has a solo crew, and ensure that they have the necessary skills and experience to complete the project to your satisfaction. You'll also want to establish communication lines with the contractor or project manager to ensure that you stay up-to-date on progress updates and any changes to the project timeline.

What's Your Process for Handling Issues or Changes?:

Finally, it's important to understand how the contractor plans to handle any issues or changes that arise during the project. Make sure you talk to the contractor about the process for addressing disputes or making changes to the project plan. Ideally, you'll want to work with a contractor who is flexible and responsive to your needs, and who is willing to work with you to make any necessary adjustments to the project plan.


Choosing a general contractor for your home renovation or improvement project is a big decision. There are a variety of factors to consider, from the contractor's experience and expertise to their communication and project management skills. By asking the right questions during your first meeting with a potential contractor, you can establish open communication and build a strong foundation for your working relationship. With the right contractor on your team, your renovation project will be a success from start to finish.

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