If you’re a homeowner, you probably already had the experience of hiring a contractor that ended up not doing the best job. In order to prevent that from happening again, there’s a couple of things you need to know about hiring a service. Even more: you need to get ready to interview the contractor you’re hiring! No matter what type of project you have in mind, these ten questions are essential.
“Being your own person and standing for what you believe is a critical aspect of a good professional life.” - Patrick Pichette
How much experience do you have?
This question should always be made along the next one too. There’s no denying that the quality of a service will reflect on the time a person has been doing the job, so the more years of experience your contractor has, the more likely he is to provide a reliable service.
Could you provide me some references?
If your contractor doesn’t come with references when you’re first getting to know him, then you can be cautious. Professionals know the importance of having a good reference, so they will usually already have something at hand to show you.
Ratings and online reviews are also available and usually trustworthy.
If your contractor can’t offer references and/or if you don’t find anything about them online, it’s pretty clear you should not hire them.
Will you be in charge of the project?
If the person you’re talking to isn’t in charge of the project, make sure to get to know the project manager and interview them as well. It’s important to know the person in charge and their way of making decisions, and then again: ask for their references to get a job well-done.
It’s important to see the team as a whole, so if the person you’re interviewing isn’t the project manager, don’t discredit them, complete the interview in the same way you would the manager. But be sure to insist on having a talk with the contractor in charge as well, because after all, if you don’t trust who’ll be in charge, what’s the point of even hiring the team?
Are you licensed, insured and bonded?
The most important thing here is that your contractor is licensed! Every professional contractor should always be licensed and carry their workers’ comp and liability insurance along with them. Bonding is more like a guarantee, not so much a requirement, but it will help protect you in case of an incomplete job - you can think of it as a type of insurance policy.
Do you pull all the required permits?
Pretty much any bigger home improvement project will require a permit, and there are different types of permits according to the project you’re having done, such as:
Before getting any job started, the contractor needs to get the necessary paperwork and permits. If there’s any hesitation towards this matter, you should start looking for a new contractor.
What is the project timeline? What about the daily work schedule?
Big home projects can often find interruptions along the way, either because workers got sick, or because of weather changes. But a professional and organized contractor will offer you a schedule with start and end dates that already consider an amount of time to cover these interruptions.
Who will have access to the house? Will my keys be needed?
Yes, giving your home keys to someone you don’t even know can be uncomfortable. But unless you plan to stay home throughout the construction time, you’ll need to give your keys to the contractor.
In a case like this,
Questioning about who will have access to the house is really important to make you feel safer about your choice. In addition, make sure that the contractor in charge (and who will receive the keys) will be present in the project the whole time.
Will you need water and bathroom facilities?
Water is hardly ever going to be an issue, most contractors already come to work bringing their own water. Though they can’t bring their own bathroom, right? I mean, unless you’re having a bathroom remodel that will need to bring a port-a-john to your home, prepare a bathroom for the workers to have easy access when they need to.
Will you sign a contract?
It’s not only about signing a contract, but one that defines:
- The work to be performed
- Materials used
- All costs included
- Completion of schedules
- What happens if there’s trouble
If you got this far with the questions, you’re probably already dealing with a good, trustworthy contractor. But still, be sure to check if all of these items are included in the contract they’re providing.
Plus: The contract needs to have a clause spelling out the circumstances where both parties are allowed to terminate the contract.
Can you sign a guarantee clause along the contract?
This one should already be covered with the previous question, however, we always like to go with the “better safe than sorry” life motto over here. For that reason, we’ll say: it’ll be good if you have a guarantee clause in the contract as well. If the contractor agrees to sign this clause, you’ll have no reasons at all to doubt his reliability.
Do you feel ready to start the hiring process? Get a free quote from a professional today!
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- 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Pro
- Forget DIY: Here’s Why You Do Need a Pro for Bathroom Services
- How To Hire a Professional Painter