12 Smart Questions to Ask a Prospective Contractor

Not all questions will apply to every hiring.

1. How long have you been working in this area and industry?

(You want an established contractor.)

2. Are you licensed?

(Required for electricians, plumbers, HVAC & gas technicians, etc.)

3. Do you carry insurance for damages to my home or property?

(Hopefully yes. You may not be covered by your homeowner policy.)

4. Do you carry insurance in case someone gets hurt while working on my

property?

(Hopefully yes. You may not be covered by your homeowner policy.)

5. Can you provide me a list of references with contact info?

(Yes. Preferably a list from which you can pick several recent customers.)

6. What is the timeline for this project and how soon will you begin?

(Be comfortable with the answer and express concerns if you have any.)

7. What is your expected work schedule for this project?

(Be comfortable with the answer and express concerns if you have any.)

8. Will you be the on-site manager of the project? If not, who will be and

how do I contact that person?

(Be comfortable with the answer and express concerns if you have any.)

9. Will you provide a written contract specifying what you will do, the

anticipated time frame, line items for materials needed to complete the

job, cost, time needed, a “time and materials” contract should a project

become more involved than first thought, and a termination clause?

(Consider a refusal to supply a written contract a “red flag.”)

10. Who is responsible for obtaining required permits and scheduling

inspections?

(The contractor should be willing to obtain all permits and scheduling inspections.)

11.What is your guarantee?

(All reputable contractors will want you to be completely satisfied with their work and

should have no issue with providing a guarantee.)

12.What is the payment schedule?

(NEVER pay the entire amount up front. Do NOT pay the final installment before the

work is fully completed to your satisfaction.)

 

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