7 Questions to ask when working with contractors.
1. Ask how long they’ve been in business.
Experienced pros will keep your project on track and provide an ideal finished product. And a long-established company is more likely to have a good reputation in your area, streamlined processes for their work and reliable team members or subcontractors.
2. Ask about their licensing.
Licensing ensures pros have the skills and knowledge to carry out the job. Be sure that they have the proper licensing for the exact type of work that you’re requesting. The experience needed to complete work in the home can vary greatly from one project to another.
3. Find out if they will sign a contract.
A contract will define the scope of your job and outline details like completion dates, materials and pricing. Without a contract, neither you nor the contractor are protected in the event of a project change, a missed step or confusion around the payment schedule.
4. Request a timeline for completion.
Pinpointing your job’s beginning and ending dates will help you plan around your project. An experienced, quality professional should be able to determine the time they’ll need with relative accuracy.
5. Ask how they prefer to communicate.
Clear communication will help you stay up to date with your job. And each person has a different method they prefer. Some homeowners want updates throughout the day, where others would rather get updates every few days. Ask your pro if they’d rather text, call, email or touch base in person – and figure out how you can communicate most effectively.
6. Request references.
References will provide insight into your pro’s working habits, customer relations and quality of work. Many pros will have a list of references available, and others will want to cater their references to projects similar to your own. And the insight these references can provide is invaluable.
7. Ask to see examples of past work.
Examples of similar past work will prove your pro has the experience necessary for a successful project. Many pros have portfolios of their work, with photos and descriptions of each project. If they don’t have a portfolio, ask if they can put something together that will demonstrate their skill and work.