Most Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor


Regardless if you’re remodeling a home or erecting a new structure your main goal is to generate value. Unfortunately, your intentions can be seriously hampered by an unskilled or unconscientious contractor. Sadly, people without much experience in these matters may not be able to distinguish a bad contractor from a good one. Indeed, an experience is a serious matter, after all these projects aren’t that common and an average person engages in them only a couple of times in a lifetime. Still, one doesn’t have to learn on their own mistakes in order to acquire new knowledge. With that in mind, here are several important questions to ask before hiring a contractor.

Ask about their background and experience

The first question you need to raise is one of their previous experience in projects similar to yours. In this day and age, the excuse that they don’t have images (or before and after images, in case of a remodel) is a poor and unbelievable one. Aside from this, you could also ask for a contact of their previous clients, so that you can inquire in person.

Getting this kind of WOM (word of mouth) recommendation is probably the single most important item on this list. Also, provided that these are the real clients that you’re talking to (some companies may deliberately give you false contacts), you need to understand that these are still people who are content with their work. No contractor will give you a phone number or an email of a person that was so openly critical of their work.

An estimate or a fixed price

The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you have a budget for this particular project and you need to make sure that the contractor you hire can work with this. Sadly, a lot of people fail to realize that there’s a difference between a bid that’s an estimate and a bid that’s a fixed price. In a scenario where it’s an estimate, you should probably ask for an itemized bid. This will help you make a calculation of your own. For instance, by getting a separate price for demolition and trash hauling, framing and finish carpentry, drywall and painting, tiling and floor covering, you’ll be able to work out the price item by item. On the other hand, there are some who claim that an itemizing is a bad idea from the standpoint of a contractor.

Look for a specific experience

Previously, we talked about a previous experience, for instance, work on commercial areas or small renovations on residential homes are a very broad spectrum of services. Sometimes you’ll need a service that some contractors don’t even provide, to begin with. For instance, if you aim to outfit your home with a roof made of copper shingles, this could turn out to be extraordinarily difficult to find with regular contractors. Same goes for repairing this type of roof. In this particular scenario, you would have to find someone who specializes in copper roofing. While in the era of the internet this shouldn’t be as difficult as it was in the past, it’s still not a small feat.

Meeting the foreman

No matter how solid or reliable the contractor may be, you also want to meet the job foreman, seeing as how they’ll be directly in charge of the project. How meticulous they are may come to determine the outcome of the project. Ideally, you would also meet the crew that will perform works on your project, yet, this is both complex, time-consuming and, at the end of the day, unnecessary. Meeting a foreman will be more than enough.

In conclusion

At the very end, it’s very important to notice that there’s no infallible method for ensuring that a contractor is the right one for the job. As we already mentioned, the contacts that you’ve gotten might be pre-fixed, the foreman might play the role until you leave and the estimate may end up being way off. Nevertheless, by following through with these four simple questions, you can minimize the odds of this by quite the margin. With projects as important, any reassurance is more than welcome.

Author Bio:

Mia Johnson is a freelance writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourn, she now lives in Sidney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.

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