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|Business Categories||Plumbing in New York, NY|
The question is great for some industries and non-applicable for others. A general contractor, for example, will by definition employ subcontractors. Most New York Plumbing companies do not, but there are exceptions. You should always ask this question to your service providers. If they do use subcontractors, ask if they're all licensed and insured independently.
You'll always want to ask how long the company has been in business in New York. While this isn't a guarantee that the company will do good work, companies with longevity on their side must be doing something right. That being said, there are newer companies that do great work. If the company is under three years old, ask where the owner was employed before and for how long. If he/she has a long history of employment, it's reasonable to infer that he or she decided to go into business for themselves after so many years of experience.
Some companies may require a 10% deposit, some may not require any. For larger projects, you'll almost always need to give a deposit, and it's good to ask how much the deposit will be before going forward with a project. The New York contractor will know how much they need for a deposit when they've given you the estimate, so ask early.
This will be answered when you ask if all employees are licensed. The only way to obtain a legitimate tradesman's license is to be a legal or naturalized citizen of the US. The company may employ people in positions that don't require a license, however, so it's wise to inquire.
These first two questions should only relate to services or good purchased directly from the service provider. Many products carry their own warranties, like roofing shingles or siding. It's useful to know what these warranties cover as well as how long they last. The "warranty agent" question is important, because often warranty agents work with the manufacturer to get you repairs under warranty at a much lower price.