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Interviewing Your Contractor

August 03, 2016

Whether you’re considering hiring an experienced contractor to install roof shingles, replace your windows or complete another similar home improvement project, it’s important to know the proper questions to ask those you’re considering before making the decision to hire.

Here are some great interview questions to help you choose:

  1. Do you have a contractor’s license?
    Any professional contractor who are very good at what they do, home improvement projects are an investment. And unless you’re willing to risk a sloppy or low-quality job, you should invest in a contractor who’s taken the time to obtain a license. Find out if your potential contractors are officially licensed by checking their certification status online.

  2. Do you have insurance for general liability and workers compensation?
    To best protect your home, property and personal finances, your contractor (and each affiliated sub-contractor) should have both general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Be sure to request proof of insurance to see what type and how much coverage the contractor has.

  3. How many years of experience do you have?
    Generally speaking, contractors should have a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field before attempting to run a residential construction firm themselves. They should also have a strong background in carpentry and a specialization in the area of your home that you’re wanting to have work done.

  4. Have you performed a job similar to mine? How many?
    Because most home improvement projects vary from job to job, it’s important that your contractor has skill and experience with projects that are at least comparable to yours. Ideally, your contractor has several similar jobs under his/her belt, but if not, be sure to ask if this job is realistic to complete or not. A smart contractor will answer honestly and try to find the best solution for you, regardless of who completes it for you.

  5. Do you have any references I can contact?
    Most great contractors thrive off of word of mouth from happy customers. Ask for a link to testimonials or another similar place to obtain references.

  6. What types of guarantees do you offer for your work?
    If you’re serious about having a guaranteed job well done, ask to have the firm’s warranty in writing. That way, you’ll know exactly what to expect if there is a problem with a product or installation later down the road.

  7. How do you ensure cleanliness, security and safety on job sites?
    Ask your potential contractor to be specific with this one. They should have a list of ways to ensure time is productive, job sites are clean and safe, and that your personal property will be protected during the process.

  8. What’s your rate?
    Although there are certainly variables that can make an estimate difficult to give on the spot, most contractors should be able to give a range of what you can expect to pay for this job. Be sure to compare rates to ensure the pricing is fair and within your budget.

  9. How long will it take you to complete this job?
    Similar to the previous question, you should be able to get a general time estimate for your project, including quickest and longest timeframes. Compare these times with others and see which are realistic and that will work for you.

  10. How many projects do you typically handle at once?
    Every contractor is different. Some work alone or with a couple of people, while others have a group of sub-contractors that they work with. Depending on the number of people on a team, the project load can vary dramatically. Ask to see what’s a realistic project load for this contractor and how yours will fit in with that schedule.

  11. How can I communicate with you if I have questions?
    Your contractor should be easily accessible at reasonable hours of the day to address questions or concerns associated with your project. Ask for a phone number, email address and any other way you’d like to communicate.

  12. Who will handle the permitting process?
    Your contractor should be responsible for any permits needed to comply with designated building codes for your area.

Hiring a contractor can be a big decision, as it is certainly a financial commitment you’ll want to invest wisely in. So don’t rush the process, and use these interview questions to help you decide on the right one to hire for the job.
For even more helpful information about home improvement projects, products and services, contact FL Home Supply at 1-888-880-5270 today or visit our blog for similar articles like this one.

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