Choosing a Contractor, Part 2 of 3:
Eight Questions to Ask When Interviewing Candidates for Your Job
So you’ve left some messages, gotten some calls back, and set some appointments. Contractors are coming over and bidding on your job. There’s more to making your decision that just looking for the lowest number…the beauty of your home, and the value of your investment in it, is on the line. Here are 10 good questions to ask any potential hire. No doubt, you’ll be talking to several – be sure to take notes!
1. Are you and your subcontractors licensed and insured?
2. Will you provide me with hold harmless agreement and lien waivers?
3. How many projects do you have going at one time?
4. Are you the one doing the work? If so, what time does your day start and end? If not, what time will subcontractors show up? Will you be there to meet them and inspect their work?
5. Will you provide me with a detailed timeline for the project?
6. Will you provide me with a detailed estimate for the project
7. Can you give me multiple references from clients who have already worked with you? I’d like one from someone you’re working with now, one from someone you just finished a project for, and one from a year or two ago. I’d prefer that at least one be from a client who did the kind of project I’m considering.
8. What is your payment schedule and can it be adjusted?
The answers to these questions are the best way to determine not only whether your contractor is able to do the job, but what your experience working with him or her will be like.
Gather your notes and narrow your list down to a few finalists.
Coming up: It’s time to start looking at estimates. What should a professional estimate include and how will you compare them?