Hiring a contractor
Can be similar to acquiring a family member, except that when it comes to a contractor, you’re the one who gets to do the choosing — not your wayward little sister. This family aspect stems from the fact that you’ll probably be seeing quite a lot of your contractor, depending on the size of the project and the amount of subcontracting involved, so it’s important to find someone you can get along with who’ll do the job right.
In order to make a sound choice, there are some key questions you should pose to potential contractors — ideally at least three candidates so you can compare their responses — to ensure you’re getting a good match. This is your home, after all; you want someone who’s dependable and determined to see the project through to the end.
Below, we’ll jump right into the questions you need to know about a contractor before you consider making him or her a temporary addition to the family.
What is your schedule? A schedule is more than just a start and end date. Having a schedule that outlines tasks and timing will give you a big-picture view of sequencing and deadlines for things such as tile and countertops. It will also give you a benchmark so that you know if things are slipping by a day or two.
With small projects such as kitchens and baths, schedule is everything.
Who will be here every day? Depending on the size and structure of the company you hire, the answer could vary widely. Many remodelers use a lead carpenter system, where a staff member (sometimes called a superintendent) is responsible for day-to-day work on site, and often swings a hammer as well. Ask your contractor direct questions about who will be responsible for opening and locking up, who will supervise subcontractors on site and who to call on a daily basis with any questions.
Related Reading for Hiring a Contractor
- Choosing Your Contractor
- 8 Requirements For Your HVAC Contractors
- What does “Satisfaction Guarantee” really say about your contractor
- Avoid Scams by some HVAC Contractors
List of Questions
Company Comparison Check List
Questions to Ask Your Heating Contractor
|Will you make recommendations and leave paperwork?|
|How long has the company been in business?|
|Do you use any sub-contractors?|
|If so you must provide proof of current insurance.|
|What work they will be doing?|
|How many Nate certified service technicians does the company have?|
|How many Nate installation technicians does the company have?|
|Do you have a person always answering your phone or is there message system?|
|How many days of the week are you open for me to come in?|
|Is the company available evenings and weekends to handle any service calls or emergencies?|
|Does the company survey customers after work is completed to measure customer satisfaction?|
|Will the company handle all permits needed for your job?|
|Will your company show me all necessary local, state, and federal licenses of the appropriate work?|
|Will you show me industry standard calculations and design?|
|If needed system-sizing calculation and what are they?|
|Can I see your showroom?|
|How long is your labor warranty?|
|How long is your material warranty?|
|How long are the manufactures warranties?|
|Are there any restrictions with service hours for warranty work?|
|Who inspects the work after completion?|
|What quality control systems do you have in place?|
|How are they implemented?|
|* If I’m not satisfied, will you actually give me a refund to ensure that I do not lose any money?|
|What are the terms and conditions to your guarantees?|
|Any other questions that you may have for the contractor.|