28 May 15 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor
Once you have determined your budget, created your design, explored permitting and restrictions, and collected bids, there are multiple guiding questions to ask before you make a final decision on selecting a contractor. And while money is an important factor, remember that reputation, availability, experience, and dependability are equally important.
1. How long have you been in business, and what types of projects have you completed?
2. Are you licensed and insured, and do you have proof?
- Once you get the license number, verify it is in good standing with the contractor’s license board.
- If they do not have general liability insurance, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover your project, so you will want to confirm.
- If they use employees, make sure they also have Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
3. Do you have references and photographs of completed projects?
4. Do you offer any guarantees or warranties on the workmanship of you and your subcontractors?
5. Are you willing to set forth a written contract that includes a complete and itemized estimate, detailed scope of work, a timeline, and a payment schedule?
6. Will you make change orders in writing if they are deemed necessary?
7. When are you available to begin the project?
8. What is the timeline of the project, and do you foresee any delays or issues?
9. Will you handle all required permitting and inspections throughout the project all the way to final inspection?
10. What is the payment schedule, and at what points of completion do you expect to be paid?
- Do not pay more than 10% down to protect your interests
11. Do you plan to schedule walkthroughs with me at various points of the project and are they connected to the payment schedule?
12. Are you my primary point of contact, or will someone else be assigned to my project?
13. How will we keep in communication – phone calls, emails, meetings – and how often will you contact me with updates?
14. Who will be in my home – are you the supervisor, or will you be using managers, employees, and subs to complete the work, and if so, who will be supervising them?
15. Will you conduct a daily end-of-day clean up?
If the contractor can answer these questions with responses that match your expectations and you feel you can effectively communicate with him or her, you might have found the right person for the job!
Jeni C. Powell is a freelance writer who specializes in blog posts, website content, summary and analysis, and editing. Her industry related strengths include Marketing, Education, Home Living, Construction, Legal, and Parenting. Please visit her website at www.jenifreelance.com