If you’ve decided it’s time to start the home remodeling project or repair you’ve been thinking about, one of your first steps will be finding the right contractor. At HandyLo.com, we help you find the best contractors in your area for a variety of jobs, but sometimes hiring can still be a bit scary. Interviewing contractors is an important part of the process of starting your project and putting your mind at ease. So, what type of questions do you need to ask? Check out this list of 10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor.
10 Questions for Interviewing a Contractor
1. Are You Licensed?
Requirements for contractor licenses vary from state to state and even city to city. You’ll want to make sure your contractor is properly licensed and credentialed for the project you have planned.
If you want to check out the licensing requirements for your state or verify if your contractor is licensed, you can find that information on this site.
2. Do You Have the Appropriate Insurance?
Hiring a contractor with the proper insurance to protect your home and property is an absolute must. Contractors should have liability insurance for the type of job you are hiring them to perform. They should also have workers’ compensation insurance. to protect you from liability if there is an injury during work on your property.
Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor to see their insurance certificate before work begins on your home.
3. Do You Guarantee Your Work?
Before a contractor begins working for you, find out if they offer a warranty on their work. You’ll want to know what that warranty covers and how long it is good for.
You should also find out if any of the materials used in your home remodel or home repair have a manufacturer's warranty. If there are warranties on materials, request a copy before work begins.
4. How Do You Invoice Your Customers?
For any home repair project or remodel, it’s important to discuss the terms of payment with your contractor before work begins. You’ll want to note any specific due dates for invoices or discuss whether payment will be based on completed stages of your project.
5. Do You Have a List of Client References?
If you’re interviewing a contractor whose work you are unfamiliar with, talking to past client references is a must! When you contact references, ask them about the quality of work, whether timelines were met, and the cleanliness and safety of the job site. And find out what their overall experience was with the company you’re planning to hire.
6. Who Will Be at My House Each Day from Your Company?
Many contractors have multiple jobs going at a time so it’s a good idea to find out what kind of consistency you can expect on your project. You’ll want to know if you can expect the same people every day. And if there is a project manager you’ll be working with.
7. Who Will Communicate with Me About My Project?
With many companies, the same person who handles your estimate and initial contact regarding work on your home will also be in charge of the project. But in some cases, there are project managers or other employees your remodel or repair may be handed off to. If so, you’ll want to know how to reach that person.
It is also a wise idea to find out who you should reach out to if you have problems or concerns regarding your project both during work and after it is completed.
8. What Can I Expect When the Project is Complete Regarding Liens & Paperwork?
Once your home project is completed you should receive some paperwork. This typically includes lien releases, permit sign-offs, and any warranties on supplies, appliances, or parts. Ask in advance to make sure you will be given everything you need at the completion of your home remodel or repair.
9. Will You Obtain Permits & Schedule Inspections for this Job?
Not all jobs will require permits or inspections, but many do. Your contractor should be knowledgeable about what permits are required. They should also be in charge of pulling the permits and dealing with inspectors.
10. What is the Timeline for My Project to Be Completed?
This question is important for making sure you have realistic expectations for when your contractor will be starting and completing your job.
Ask your potential contractor if they have any other jobs in progress that might affect your schedule. And find out how they will communicate with you about delays or schedule changes.
The Bottom Line
HandyLo provides contractor profiles and reviews, but communication between you and your hired contractor is key for a successful home remodel or home repair project. A thorough interview will help you select a contractor you can trust.