Home projects – whether interior or exterior – can be a big undertaking. You’ve got a vision to bring to life and, in most cases, it all comes down to choosing the right contractor. A contractor can make or break a project. They determine the quality and timeliness of the work, as well as your peace of mind. Before hiring any home contractor, make sure you ask these three very important questions.
- Are you licensed?
Every state has different rules and regulations about contractor licensure, so you’ll need to check what is required in your area before hiring. You can check this list to find out if a contractor needs to be licensed or registered to operate in your state. In most cases, unlicensed contractors are not held accountable by any organization, meaning they don’t have to obtain the proper paperwork for a project or protect their crews through worker’s compensation insurance. This often leads to lower quotes since they are not paying a licensing fee or obtaining a bond to protect their work, but it also means less protection for you if any kind of dispute arises. Hiring a licensed professional is the best way to ensure you and your assets will be protected during the course of a project.
- Will you provide a list of references?
This is a great way to learn whether a contractor has relevant experience to your project, as well as their work ethic and quality of work. Most professional contractors can provide you with a few past clients who had projects similar in scope to your own. Don’t be shy about calling other homeowners and asking their opinion of the contractor. You can also check out their ratings with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
- How long have you been doing business in this town?
A contractor who has been doing business in the same area for several years will have an established reputation and network of suppliers. Beware of scam contractors who are coming into town to drum up business, especially in the wake of a recent storm or hurricane. Check that their business card or website includes a nearby office address.