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|Business Categories||Engineers, Plumbing in Anchorage, AK|
This is important mostly for larger jobs. Clearly a two man operation is going to build a home much slower than a 15 man crew. This is also a good indication of the overall size of the Engineers company, if that's an area of concern for you. The reason you may want to ask about the fleet is that fleet size is a good indicator of the mobility of the company. Mobility may not sound important, but it's hard for the Anchorage contractors to get to job sites if they lack appropriate vehicles.
You'll always want to ask how long the company has been in business in Anchorage. 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.
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 Anchorage as well, which will give you a broader view of customer satisfaction for a given company.
You'll certainly want to ask them this. Steer clear of any company that is not insured in Alaska, 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.
The question is great for some industries and non-applicable for others. A general contractor, for example, will by definition employ subcontractors. Most Anchorage Engineers 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.