Choosing the right contractor is a crucial remodeling step. But in order to find the right pro, you need to ask the right questions. Use these interview inquiries to hire the ideal contractor for your project.
1. Are You Licensed?
Always ask to see a pro’s licensing during your interview. Ensure that his or her credentials are up to date and valid for your project. Never hire a pro without proper licensing. The absence of credentials shows a lack of commitment to quality work — and your potential project.
2. Are You insured?
Hire only pros who carry both general liability coverage and workers’ compensation. These forms of insurance protect you, your pro and your home in the event of an accident, injury or damage. Hiring uninsured contractors can have serious legal and financial repercussions. Be sure your pro’s insurance is active and up to date before making a hiring decision.
3. What’s Your Experience?
Your potential pro’s background is an important consideration. Hiring an inexperienced pro will result in a sub-par finished product and expensive future repairs. Be sure your contractor has adequate experience with projects similar to yours. Discussing your candidate’s know-how will also give you a glimpse into his or her working style. It’s important to hire a pro whose techniques and habits agree with your lifestyle.
4. Do You Offer Work Guarantees?
Not all pros offer work guarantees, which isn’t a problem. But a guarantee is a nice bonus, especially on larger jobs. These agreements will vary depending on the pro. Some contractors visit your home after six months and again at one year to fix any construction shortcomings. Other pros base their guarantees on a need-be basis. Discuss work guarantees before hiring your contractor.
5. How Do You Structure Payments?
An ambiguous payment structure can create conflict between you and your pro, and sometimes even halt your project. Speaking to your potential pro about a preferred payment structure will help you plan ahead and provide a painless installment plan. Never hire contractors who accept only cash or who require large down payments. Most pros require 10 percent up front.
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