Whether for commercial or residential construction, a contractor is generally a necessary requirement for getting the job done. However, hiring a contractor can be tricky business. Asking questions of potential contractors is most often the best way of assessing if they’re right for the job. In this post, we list five questions to ask a contractor before hiring them to work on your property.
How Did You Get Into The Business?
Asking this question is a great icebreaker that often leads to a personal conversation. This is a good way to get an impression of their demeanour and to find out if the work they’ve done is similar to what you require. You’ll learn more about their background, experience and approach to their profession. Leading with a personal question such as this can reveal a lot about who you would be working with.
Are You Licensed And Insured?
While this is an important question, you’ll rarely meet a contractor who will admit to having neither of these qualifications. That said, an unlicensed, uninsured contractor can put you a great risk should something go wrong. So, although you’ll most often get an answer in the affirmative, it’s still an important question to ask.
Will You Get Any Necessary Permits?
Pulling permits, as it’s known in the industry, can be a time-consuming affair. It often also requires some specialized knowledge. So, if you can get your contractor to take care of this fundamental part of the job, it’ll significantly reduce your responsibilities. Most contractors will take care of this, but it’s important to make sure.
What’s Your Availability?
In the post-Covid world, many contractors are awash with work. So these days, this may be one of the most important questions to ask a contractor before hiring. Some take on too much work. Find out when your contractor will be available and whether they’ll be able to complete the job within your desired timeline. There’s not much more frustrating than believing you’ve hired someone only to find out they can’t get to your job for several months.
How Long Will The Job Take?
Asking for an estimated timeline for getting the job done is another important question to put to any potential contractor. Beware of saying that you’re in no rush or that the job’s finish date is flexible, because you may find yourself being strung along for far too long. Everybody works better with a deadline, so work with your contractor to set one. At least it’ll give you both a frame of reference from which to measure.