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Choosing a Contractor

What should I ask my contractor?

Remember to ask about insurance, liability, references and more. Includes a printable version of the checklist.

Be sure you're choosing a legitimate professional contractor

You want to feel confident about the contractor you choose and their commitment to provide you with a quality construction job that will be completed in a timely manner while adhering to terms you negotiated.

Verify that you're choosing an insured contractor

Working with an insured contractor is a critical requirement for any home or business owner. You'll want to be sure you're protected if any injuries or accidents occur on your property.

Is the contractor licensed?

You should not award your project to an unlicensed contractor, but keep in mind that license requirements tend to be fairly loose and poorly enforced.

Ask how long the contractor has been in business.

Of course, someone who is more experienced in their trade is always going to be more reliable. The measurement for an experienced contractor is usually about 5 years in business. Anyone with less experience should be researched with extra care.

Check for Certification

This can help you verify the contractor's commitment to his work and responsibility as a professional. It shows initiative on the contractor's part and an interest in keeping current with the standards and policies of his industry.

Request a list of references.

This is especially valuable to your decision-making process. It's important that you not feel timid about requesting this list, and moreover, that you actually research the references.

Don't make a hiring decision based solely on low price.

Home and business owners with negative contractor experiences most often claim they chose the contractor because they offered the lowest bid.

You're not the only one doing the qualifying!

When you're qualifying potential contractors for your job, it's important to express your goals with confidence and allow yourself ample time to evaluate each one.

Ask the references the right questions.

Was the contractor able to stay pretty close to or within the original estimated budget? Were you happy with the timeliness of the contractor? Did the job stay on track?

DO NOT be afraid to speak up.

This is so easy and incredibly crucial. You are the one in control of this project, so you need to clearly express your goals and ask your questions with confidence.

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