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|Business Categories||Handyman in Seattle, WA|
Always ask for references, and always check them. Keep in mind though that the only references you'll get are people who the contractor is certain will give him a good review. You'd also be well advised to check online review sources in Seattle as well, which will give you a broader view of customer satisfaction for a given company.
The question is great for some industries and non-applicable for others. A general contractor, for example, will by definition employ subcontractors. Most Seattle Handyman 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 Seattle. 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.
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.
You'll certainly want to ask them this. Steer clear of any company that is not insured in Washington, because that means that any incidental damage they may do on your property will be a real hassle to recover compensation for. It is never wise to work with uninsured tradesmen of any kind. Most states also require that someone have insurance in order to be issued a trade license. If they say they're licensed but not insured, they're being less than truthful.