Do you know what questions to ask when hiring a contractor? When you are getting ready to renovate your home, hiring the right contractor could make the difference in your home project being a success—or a nightmare. And, because renovations are a significant financial investment, knowing what you can expect from a contractor before your project starts will help you better prepare for the entire process.
To make an informed decision, Class Act Property Solutions recommends asking several questions of your potential contractors—and ideally having at least three candidates so you can compare their responses. Here are five questions to ask your potential contractors prior to starting your home renovation project.
Are you licensed and by whom? (Can they provide proof of licensure?) While the laws for a contractor’s license vary by state—and often also by city or county—in most cases, a license is required to do any type of skilled labor on another person’s home or property.
Will the people working in my home be bonded and insured? It is important that your contractor be fully insured and capable of covering any accidents or mishaps that might occur while working on your project. If a contractor is uninsured, they should not be working on your property. Remember that being licensed does not mean the contractor is insured. Being “bonded” is a type of financial protection for the property owner. If a contractor fails to complete a job as contracted, the bond can provide compensation to a property owner.
Do you provide detailed contracts? The answer here should be a resounding “yes.” A true professional will always provide a proper, written contract. A contract should detail a clear project plan, rates, deposit requirements, and detail what you and your contractor have agreed to for the project. A written contract should include the following:
How long have you been in business? Hiring an experienced contractor will save you time, money, and potential frustration and disappointment. You will likely pay more upfront for an experienced contractor, but an inexperienced and cheaper choice may end up costing you far more.
Do you have references from past clients? A credible contractor will have no problem providing multiple references from past clients. Class Act Property Solutions recommends that you call several references and ask questions, such as: What kind of work did they do for you? Did they show up on time? Did your project come in according to budget? On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to hire them again? Asking previous clients these questions will help you confirm what type of work the contractor can do for you, and the level of service you can expect.