Questions To Ask Potential Contractors Before Making Your Choice

When you decide you want to make changes in your home, you are going to need to find a qualified contractor to perform the work. Minor improvements can be tackled on your own, but anything more complex should be handled by a professional. In order to find someone who can handle the upgrades you have in mind, you need to conduct interviews before hiring the contractor who is right for your home. There are a few important questions to include in your contractor interviews. First, ask them if they have workman’s comp insurance and general liability insurance. You want to make sure your contractor and their employee’s are fully covered if something unexpected should occur. Also be sure they are responsible to any damage caused to your home.

Ask your potential contractors what their time frame would be for a given project. While they may not be able to tell you exactly how long work will last, they should be able to include a time frame in your estimate. Installing new windows or carpet may take less than a full day. Making structural changes may take a certain number of months. Have them give you a worst case scenario estimate, so you and your family know exactly how long the inconveniences in your home might last. Also have your contractor include the time frame in the official estimate so you have some assurance the work will not run a lot longer than expected.

As far as the estimate is concerned, do not allow it to be the most important part of your interview. While you want a great price on your improvements, you may not want to go with the cheapest available. Local companies sometimes offer services for much less than national options, so if you want to save money and help local business owners, speak with several in your area about the project. You can often find a reputable company that is much smaller than the national companies and get a great deal and specialized service on a product that is just as good.

Ask your contractor if they have done the work you want done in the past. If they have experience with a project similar to yours, your project is more likely to run smooth. There are contractors who can take on new jobs without problems and learn as they go, and there are contractors who still make mistakes on work they have done a million times. If you are going to err on the side of caution though, work with someone who is familiar with your type of work.

Finally, ask your contractor for references. You should be able to speak with previous customers about the performances and quality of your contractor’s work. Obviously, the contractor will supply you with the names of happier customers, so also consider checking with organizations like the Better Business Bureau. They can refer you to customers of all varieties and provide you with research they have done on your potential contractors.