Questions to ask any contractor

In a country where there are so many companies with varying degrees of experience and expertise, homeowners are not always able to find a good contractor quickly and easily. There are several paths that can lead you to quality workmanship and affordable rates, but knowing the best route for your situation is crucial in making your search a pleasant one!

Find a Good Contractor for Large Remodels

Finding a reputable contractor is important when planning any home improvement project, but when dealing with major remodels like room additions, complete renovations of older properties, or basement remodels, those who find a good contractor are likely to get better results and avoid many of the hassles that come with these jobs, too!

Of course, the best contractors create plenty of satisfied clients; finding one of these clients and getting a referral is one of the surest routes to a successful project of your own. Unfortunately, since these satisfied customers aren’t simply going to drop by your house and tell you about the company that made them so happy, it will be up to you to seek these people out. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members are generally good places to begin your search to find a good contractor, but they aren’t the only starting point to consider.

For those who are internet savvy, finding a reputable contractor is a lot easier today than it has ever been before. A simple search engine query will undoubtedly give you plenty of contractors to choose from, and the information you can find about these contractors goes far deeper than any ad in the back of a phone book! To simplify matters and give yourself an even better understanding of how well a given company is likely to perform, sites like HomeAdvisor.com offer not just a list of contractors, but ratings and reviews from the contractor’s previous clients as well as informative articles regarding the project you are about to enter. No phone book has ever been so comprehensive!

Finding a Reputable Contractor for Smaller Projects

The quest to find a good contractor is a little easier for smaller projects. Not only will these projects be easier to handle for a greater number of companies (increasing your chances of getting someone capable), the shorter length of small projects means that anyone you hire will have to work pretty quickly to leave you disappointed. Just because finding a reputable contractor is not as difficult with smaller projects doesn’t mean that you should be any less picky with your home improvement dollar!

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How to Tell If a Contractor Is Trustworthy

Once you’ve found a few prospective companies, start your research with an introductory call each, asking a series of preliminary questions about work history, licensure and more:

  • Have you completed a job similar to this before?
  • Do you have a list of references I can contact?
  • When would you be able to start the job?

In most cases, the responses you get to these three questions will give you a very good idea of which of the contractors you contacted will be the best fit, but the following questions will typically make for a good tie-breaker if you find that you have more than one forerunner:

  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • What is your permanent business address?
  • Are you licensed to work in my area?
  • What year was your business initially licensed?
  • How does your company ensure that warranty service complaints are effectively handled?
  • Is your company insured against workers’ compensation claims, property damage or personal liability?

Any good contractor will be happy to answer any one of these questions, and most will appreciate dealing with a client that takes such an active interest in finding quality service. Any contractor that gives you a hard time answering a few questions, on the other hand, is probably not someone you want to trust in your home or with your hard-earned money. Remember: always consider your instincts. If your gut tells you something doesn’t mesh with the contractor, you’re probably right.


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