Before hiring any contractor to take on the job of your home project, it’s crucial that you hire someone who knows what they’re doing and are fully qualified to tackle your project. Doing this could make a world of a difference in the results that you get in the end.

While there are many great contractors out there, there are also a number of contractors who aren’t trustworthy. Home repairs and/or improvements fraud can be an unfortunate and disheartening thing to experience, but fortunately there are ways to prevent it.  

The key? Ask questions. Get as much information as you can before getting into an agreement with any contractor first. Below are a list of questions you can ask when hiring a contractor to prevent fraud and guarantee satisfaction.

1. How long have you been in the business?

In the contracting world, experience means everything. Contractors who have more years of experience likely have solid connections with suppliers and other subcontractors in your area. 

They’ve also likely encountered a number of situations that have given them the opportunity to solidify their groundwork for how they work, and how they address situations that you may have concerns about.

2. Do you have a valid contractor’s license?

One thing you should always ask a contractor is for proof of their license. Licensing laws can vary from state-to-state, however, they have the ultimate goal of not only giving contactors credibility, but protecting property owners from running into dishonest, untrustworthy contractors.

A contractor that is trustworthy would have no issues showing their license or providing their license number for you to have on file.

3. Can you provide me with recent references?

References can tell you a lot about how a contractor works or has worked in the past. This is an excellent way to get more insight on how a project was completed, and how their way of working will align with your needs.

Good contractors will have a referral list that not only spans from their recent customers, but their earliest as well. From the referral list, you can get some valuable insight on whether or not the project they completed was done within the customer’s timeline and agreed project cost. Hearing from earlier customers can also confirm how long a contractor has been doing good work. 

4. What is your payment schedule?

As a homeowner, you should never pay for work in full until the project has been completed, nor should you pay more than 50% upfront. 

For larger projects that are expected to have a lengthier timeline, it’s vital to have a clear payment schedule outlined in your contract so that you’re aware of payment terms before starting any home improvement project.

Make sure they provide a written estimate of payment terms as well as how long it will be good for.

PRO TIP: Ask your contractor to provide you with a proposal that includes the brand and model numbers of the equipment you’re getting.

5. Will the same people be working on my project everyday?

When it comes to your home and property, you likely don’t want a different team of contractors coming in and out of your home every day. 

Before starting your project, be sure that you’re aware of who will be working on your project and who the Project Manager is. This is important to know so that you can have someone you can discuss the progress of your project with. 

6. What steps will you take to protect my property?

Home improvement projects can not only be lengthy, they can be messy. Especially for projects that take longer than a day, it’s important to discuss what steps will be taken to protect your property.

Clarify where trash will be thrown, where dust and debris will be disposed of, and where any equipment will be stored.

7. What will the project really look like?

In addition to the question above, it’s important to clarify what your project will truly look like. It’s easy to anticipate your project going one way, when there will be more noise, trash and debris than you expected.

This can help you plan around the project as necessary, and the transparency from your contractor will be greatly appreciated. 

8. What is the estimated timeline for this job?

When hiring a new contractor, it’s important to clarify estimated timelines of your desired project. You’ll want to clearly know when the contractor will be able to start your project and their estimated date of completion. 

Unforeseen circumstances are bound to happen for a variety of reasons, so it’s also important to discuss how your contractor goes about handling those situations within a timeline. Doing all of this can reveal a lot about their commitment to your job. 

At the end of the day, a trusted contractor should have no issues answering the questions above or providing the information that you request.

If you’re looking for a trusted contractor near you, The Good Contractors List has you covered. Our vetted, trustworthy list of contractors have each been extensively reviewed before being added to our list. 
They are all backed by our $10,000 guarantee to ensure that you and your home are always being taken care of. Visit us here to learn more!

Author

John is the Founder and Chief Ambassador for The Good Contractors List. He built the organization from the foundation up after realizing how difficult it was for homeowners to identify honest contractors that offer good, quality work. The Good Contractors List serves as a free resource for homeowners to find GOOD contractors. In fact, we believe in our contractors so much that we back all of our contractors with a $10,000 guarantee.