What to ask your contractor before hiring them

Finding a contractor isn’t such a hassle nowadays. There are numerous online directories with professionals offering their services. Also, you can easily get their contact info by posting a status on Facebook. Your (social media) friends will surely have someone to recommend. Still, is that the end of the journey? Is there anything else you can do to ensure you’ll get the service you rightly deserve? Of course, there is! There are specific questions you’ll want to ask your potential contractor. Wondering what they are? Continue reading to find out what to ask your contractor before hiring them.

What’s the history of your service?

One of the first things you want to ask your contractor before hiring them involves their work experience. You’ll want to know when the contractor stepped into business and how long the company has been on the market. Also, feel free to ask about the contractor’s background and training since you’ll need to make sure they possess both technical and business skills, without which it would be impossible to provide a high-quality service. Lastly, inquire about the size of the company. Some service providers have their own staff, and some rely on subcontractors.

A house in the middle of the renovation process.
First things first, you’ll want to inquire about the company’s experience.

What kind of services do you offer?

Every contractor will list a specific set of services. For instance, some include design services, while others might work with independent designers. You’ll want to have a clear picture of what kind of services the contractor can provide for your home project.

Have you done any similar projects?

As we already mentioned, you can find a roofing company or any other company that specialize in certain types of projects (for instance, roofing contractors can help you with residential or commercial roof repair projects). Other contractors offer more general home renovation services and can handle a broader range of projects. The thing is: it’s good to know if the contractor has had any experience with projects similar to the one you’re trying to do. Don’t be afraid to ask how many of them they’ve done in the past couple of years.

Can we talk to your previous clients?

Ask the contractors about their past clients so you can get references. Professionals will be glad to provide you with a list since they’re very proud of the work they do. If they refuse to give you a list of past clients, feel free to stop the interview. Never hire a contractor who isn’t willing to provide you with references.

A woman talking on the phone.
Don’t be afraid to ask the contractors for references from past clients. If they’re professionals, they won’t have a problem with that.

Is it possible to see some of your current projects?

By visiting a worksite, you’ll learn a lot about how the contractor operates. If the contractor you’re interviewing has a current project, see if you can visit it and do a subtle inspection. You’ll want to know how well the site is organized. In other words: is everything clean & tidy or a complete mess?

Do you provide Workers’ Compensation and business liability insurance?

By hiring a poorly insured contractor, you’re putting yourself at considerable legal and/or financial risk. This is one of the ways you can detect if something’s fishy. Why? Well, because real professionals will provide you with proof of business liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation coverage.

Do you provide a written contract?

If the contractor says NO, or tries to think of a reason not to give you one – that’s a red flag! Always remember: none of the work will be finished without a written contract. That’s what the folks at statetostatemove.com told us to tell you. Professional movers know the importance of a written contract. They also added that the contract would set the agreement between the two parties in detail, from the description of the work, materials that will be used during the process, to the price you’ll pay for it. If you don’t have it in writing, you won’t have any proof that you and the contractor agreed on the same thing.

A pencil placed on a contract.
If they don’t offer you a written contract, feel free to walk away.

What about a written warranty?

Always know that a professional contractor should provide you with a written warranty that explains in detail what is covered and for how long. Also, they’ll need to deliver a quick follow-up service if anything goes awry with the work they’ve done. Once you start checking the references, feel free to ask past clients about the warranty service. This is definitely the type of info you’ll want to know before starting the renovation.

How will you deal with our home project?

You’ll want to know how the contractor will approach your home improvement project. For instance, will certain things need to occur before they can give you a firm price? Also, will they help you in picking out the materials? Will they take care of the needed permits? Additionally, you’ll want to inquire how long the work will take. When are they able to start the renovation? What’s their schedule? Is the work going to disturb your life a lot? You should know all of these things.

Will you clean up once the work’s over?

Last but not least on our list of what to ask your contractor before hiring them is concerned with the most trivial of jobs. A high-quality professional will want to make sure the renovating crew takes care of the final clean-up. It doesn’t matter if the project lasts for three days or three weeks. Ask about the location of the disposal. Additionally, see if they’ll pick up stray items (nails, for instance) from the floors and outdoor areas and wipe the surfaces covered in dust after each working day.