Always Ask These 7 Questions Before Hiring a Contractor
- August 15, 2012
1. What is the full name and address of the company?
AllContractor Selection Guidelines start with this question because most dissatisfaction involves low-bid undercapitalized contractors.
Automatically reject any contractor without a permanent place of business. If the contractor is not permanently established, how can you be confident he will complete the work? How can you be confident he will be in business if the work needs service in the future?
While there is no way to guarantee any business being financially stable, there are some tell-tale signs, and you should protect yourself to assure your satisfaction. Don’t be swayed by a personable contractor or his attractive low price. It is not worth the risk. Select someone you can call if a problem arises in the future.
2. Does the company carry insurance and is the coverage adequate?
This is the second most important question. Owners have been financially harmed by uninsured or inadequately insurance contractors.
Automatically reject any contractor without proper and adequate insurance. A contractor should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance for Comprehensive Liability and Worker’s Compensation that protects you in the event of an accident. The insurance should be adequate to cover the property.
3. Is the contractor a member of a trade association and in good standing?
Automatically reject any contractor who is not. Question the contractor’s commitment to his trade. Is he a member of a trade association? A professional contractor will be happy to respond to these questions. Reject the contractor who blows off your questions as not being important.
4. How Long Has The Contractor Been In Business?
Needless to say, the more experienced the better. Check references. A professional contractor will gladly provide references. Automatically reject any contractors who are unable to provide a reference list of customers.
5. What is the contractor’s track record for handling complaints?
6. What is the company’s workmanship warranty?
Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. The contractor should stand behind his warranty. The professional contractor often performs well beyond the written warranty period because he knows that this is what builds customer loyalty and referrals. Professional contractors will have no problem providing this proof.
7. Specific questions for specific projects.
Product Selection– Make sure the proposal includes a specific reference to the product and color you have chosen. Your proposal will be your proof of purchase in later years.
Manufacturer Warranty Specifications– If the project is to be warranted by a manufacturer, confirm that the agreement states that the work will conform to the manufacturer specifications.
Payment Terms – Schedule, terms and method of payment should be clearly detailed in the agreement.
Preliminary Inspection – Plan to meet with the Job Foreman who will be responsible for your satisfaction. Make sure he fully understands the specifications and promises made by his company.