Have you ever had to deal with all of the headaches that come along with hiring a bad contractor?
Obviously, not all contractors are created equally and some can make your life miserable, that is, unless you do your homework and screen them out before hiring.
In this post I will be covering the Top 8 Questions To Ask a Prospective Contractor Before You Hire Them. Asking these questions can save you hours upon hours of frustration and a great deal of time and money as well.
1) Can you provide me with references of past clients?
Obtain the contact information of at least 2 past clients they have done work for. Call these clients and ask open ended questions.
Rather than just asking their opinion on how the work came out, dig a bit deeper and see if they will reveal anything they disliked about the contractor. Here are a few questions to ask them:
What areas do you feel they could improve on?
What about their work or process did you dislike?
How did they leave your job site looking after each workday?
How were they with keeping you informed and updated on the progress of the project?
If the contractor has any current projects see if you can take a look at them to get an idea of the quality of their work and how they keep the job site looking.
2) How many projects will you have going on at the same time as my project?
This question is important because it could really have a direct effect on how long it takes to complete your project. It is not uncommon at all that a contractor gets stuck on other projects longer than expected or even takes on too much work at once and gets spread too thin.
Find out what their workload is like. If they have a few large projects going on already and yours is a smaller project, the others will most likely take priority as they will be paid more.
3) Do you take on projects of my size and have experience doing so?
Verify that they, in fact, do take on projects like yours and that they have experience doing so. You don’t want it to be their first project of such magnitude. On the flip side, you want to make sure it is not to minuscule of a project for them either.
4) Are they Licensed?
Find out if they are licensed. Verify that the license is up to date and registered with your state. Do so by asking them to provide a copy of the license for you to view before you finally hire them.
5) Do they have insurance?
Make sure that the contractor carries liability insurance in case your property is damaged during the project. Also, make sure they carry workers compensation insurance in case any workers are injured on the job.
The last thing that you want is to be responsible for someone who is injured working on your property. It is good to find out how much coverage they have as well.
6) Do they require upfront payment before they begin work?
I never ever pay up front to start a job. If a contractor is going to try and pull a fast one on you, this is an easy way for them to do it. They tell you they require a certain amount up front, you give it to them, then they disappear. If you have worked with the contractor before and you trust them, that is completely up to you.
If this is the first job they are doing for you I would highly advise against it. If they need money to buy the materials to start, I suggest that you buy some of the materials yourself first then have them start on the job and pay as certain stages are being completed.
7) Do you have written warranties?
It is important to see if the contractor stands behind their work and has a warranty behind it. A safe practice is to get this warranty in writing in case there is ever a dispute. Find out how long the warranty is good for as well.
8) Have you ever had any legal trouble as a contractor?
This is a very tough question to ask but an important one. Just be careful with the tone of how you say it. It could be a very revealing question.
Remember to use these 8 questions before you hire any contractor. Be a little cautious and use your good judgement.
I hope that this post was very helpful to you. If it was, please share with someone who you think may benefit from it.
Here’s to your success!