There are probably dozens of questions you could ask a prospective contractor before hiring him/her, but these 8 questions are ones you really need the answers to before you hand over your hard-earned money. Still looking for the right building contractor for your project? Visit HBP ProZone and receive a no-obligation list of local Harvey contractors.
1) Are you licensed?
It’s illegal for the contractor to work without a license, so if the answer is no you should move on to the next contractor on your list. If you do hire an unlicensed contractor you may also be forfeiting the right to make warranty claims, as it is usually a requirement to have the product installed by a licensed contractor.
2) How long have you been in the business and what types of projects have you completed?
While more experience doesn’t always translate into quality workmanship, it’s important to know the types of projects your contractor has taken on and what their track record looks like.
3) How much money do I have to put down?
Paying a deposit prior to having the work completed seems risky, but it’s usually required before work begins. Make sure to do your research and come up with a figure you feel is both fair and reasonable, often 50%, and never pay for the entire job up front.
4) What’s your work routine like?
Getting information about a contractor’s work routine is crucial in determining what you’re in store for over the next couple of weeks. From what time they start in the morning to how well they clean up after themselves throughout the day can help both of you determine what your expectations will be for this project.
5) Is there a projected timeline for this project?
A contractor that has been around the block a few times should be able to give you an accurate projection of when everything will be completed. A general overview of what should be done each day will tell you whether or not the contractor is meeting expectations.
6) Do you carry workers’ compensation for your employees?
A contractor that does not carry workers’ compensation for all of their employees that will be on your property is a huge liability to you as a homeowner. If something were to happen to a worker that required medical attention and the contractor did not provide insurance, you would be legally obligated to cover those expenses.
7) What type of warranty do you offer on your installation?
While product warranties vary depending on which manufacturer you decide to go with, be sure to find out what kind of warranty (if any) is offered for labor. Even a well-designed window with no defects can cause problems when not installed correctly, so make sure you won’t be paying for the contractor’s mistakes after the job is done.
8) Do you have references I can contact?
As with any service you pay for, getting feedback from someone who’s gone through the same experience will give you the most accurate portrayal of what you’re in store for. No contractor is going to tell you they show up late or make a mess on the job, so getting referrals and actually reaching out to them can go a long way.